My kids bought me a drone for Christmas a year and a half ago. It’s it’s one of the most enjoyable toys I’ve had as an adult. My granddaughters love being chased around the house by a flying object. My wife just smacks it out of her way.
Now there is a new drone being marketed. It’s a “Selfie Drone,” designed entirely for taking selfies. Instead of holding up your smartphone at arms length or on a stick, you just let it go and it flies out and positions itself perfectly to take the best picture of you. It’s automatic. You don’t have to fly it or land it. It’s designed for one thing, to take a selfie of you, or you and your friends, wherever you are.
And I thought, “That’s all we need, another encouragement to be occupied with ourselves.”
The truth is, we do this by nature. We are selfish by nature. We want to be noticed, appreciated recognized. Even those of us who are introverts want people to think well of us and we want to put our best foot forward. When’s the last time you posted a picture of yourself where you looked really bad?
At the core of this tendency to focus on self is sin. Sin is simply that – selfishness. It’s a rejection of what God wants in favor of what we want. It’s placing our needs and desires over those of others. And we all have that problem. Narcissism is not just an issue for the blatant Kings and Queens of Facebook Selfies, it’s a problem for all of us.
But it never leads to fulfillment or happiness. It’s ironic that when we get what we want, the reward is short-lived and an emptiness sets in. The reason: God created us for much more. It is the Evil One’s lie that satisfying self could ever lead to happiness. Jesus taught the opposite, that the way to joy and happiness comes through serving and giving.
You do tend to be selfish, and so do I. How should we deal with it? Well, the Gospel message is that Jesus’ gift of life through his death and resurrection overcomes the sin within us and restores us to our original purpose. We live that Gospel message out by doing as Jesus taught, serving and giving. The more you serve, and the more you give, the more you overcome that internal draw to focus on self, and the more alive you feel on the inside, because the life of Christ is given free reign within you.
So for the rest of this summer, I encourage you, take fewer selfies (though we want to see some pool and vacation family pics) and look for new ways to serve and give. That’ll be a lot more fun than a Selfie Drone!