80 times. That’s how many times the words “watch me” are repeated in this all too popular song.“Now watch me whip, now watch me nae nae, now watch me whip, whip, watch me nae nae” I’m sure you’ve sang it, how could you not? I bet you’re singing it now, aren’t you? Bonus points if you’ve ever done the moves!
If I had a dime for every time my kids have asked me to completely halt what I was doing to lock into watching them whip, I’d be a rich woman. I can be in the middle of a phone conversation, making dinner, unloading groceries, it doesn’t matter; I’m expected to turn all attention to them when they are ready for an audience. I’m happy to oblige.
These words have made me quite mindful of the request they present: “watch me.” It’s also made me mindful of the attitude attached to them as well. These words unleash a strong sense of entitlement in such an already self-focused world. We live in a “watch me” society of selfies, “likes,” you-deserve-it marketing tactics and a false belief system that it’s about us. It’s not.
As the culture follows steadily in the direction of entitlement, the church today is bending quickly in that direction too. People go church shopping with their lists of demands, we join small groups that peek our interest and let’s be honest, we prefer to be preferred. This is a shame free zone, so let’s just own it and move on.
I recently revisited the book of Job and my is it a hard read. Job spends 37 chapters wallowing in his disappointments outlining why he deserves better. He asks God multiple times about his holy discontentment and when you hit chapter 38, it get’s good! The Lord Speaks.Job 38:3-5“Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off it’s dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?”
And these words changed sweet Job. He had a realization, much like I did when I read them: Your life is not your life. It belongs to God. I spent 37 chapters thinking, “I wonder what Job could have accomplished if he would have just stayed on point?” He allowed his situation to take him off his mission. He exhausted himself looking for encouragement and striving for validation. He screams up to heaven, “Hey, God! I’m just trying to serve you here. What gives? Why have you allowed discomfort in my life? This isn’t how I would’ve planned it. I’m just going to sit and pout.”
God firmly reminds Job (and us) that callings don’t change when circumstances do.
Keeping us happy is not in God’s job description, but it sure is in His benefit package. He needed Job to redirect his focus off of himself and onto the bigger picture. I believe this is the battle we fight, daily. We must free ourselves from man’s opinion- good or bad- and outrageously seek to experience God in every. single. circumstance.
In Matthew 5:30 Jesus says, “I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” He did not come to be served but to serve. We are called to so much more than to be applauded for an action or live in lenses of self. I can assure you that He loves us way too much to not offer us some redirection back to our purpose.
Here’s my prayer, I hope you can make it yours too:
Lord, may I carry an expectant heart, always ready to lean in and listen to your words. When the words of the world are screaming at me and warring against me, I choose to focus on what you are really about—others.