At 2am, I forgot.
I sat on a couch last night at 2am, and had the extraordinary privilege of forgetting myself. Those are my favorite times, honestly. I think we really and truly become ourselves – our best selves – in the moments we are least concerned with ourselves. God seems to have given us this divinely mysterious tic as human beings: the beauty within us grows exponentially the less we care about being beautiful and the more we lose ourselves in His beauty.
We were made to reflect the thing we stare at longest and hardest. If that things is myself, the reflection will be full of frustration, stagnancy, inadequacy, and dissatisfaction. Eventually I will shrivel. It might take years, but inevitably I will run dry and all the capacity for God and glory that was carved into my spirit at my creation will be left barren. I will be a shell with no fullness. I will be myself without God, which is no self at all. But if I lock eyes with Him, if I look at the very One for whom my eyes were blessed with sight, the story is altogether different. I explode. I breathe. I radiate. I dance. I am most myself because I have left off obsessing over myself.
It is the realest of realities that “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:33).
Which brings me back to last night… The couch… 2am.
Jamie, Kristina, and I decided that nothing sounded more appealing at 2am than sitting in Jamie’s TV room (in the dark) with a guitar, our voices, and a few songs. These women are two incredible friends – and that’s a certified understatement. We’d just spent some time praying for several serious matters and decided worship was the only option for us in the wee hours of the morning. Sleep would have to wait.
So Jamie’s guitar accompanied the three of us into the TV room, and we sat in the dark with our few songs. I wasn’t familiar with one of the first songs they chose to sing. Thank God I wasn’t. Instead of joining them, I listened.
And as I listened my heart began to swell with an unswerving awareness – God was among us. More accurately, God was within us spilling into every corner of the room. Within a few moments, the two voices of my friends seemed to shake and shift the air itself. I forgot the insecurity that crept over me earlier in the evening. I forgot my nagging fears. I forgot my dissatisfaction with certain circumstances. I forgot my little list of expectations. And I remembered something… In the subtlest storm of inspiration, I remembered that this world – this universe – revolves around Jesus Christ. Not me.
Not me. Not ever.
The honesty and the longing for God in those two voices – Jamie and Kristina’s – was an irresistible invitation to lose myself in order that I might find the treasure for which I was formed. The Lion. The King. The Man.
It’s simple, really. And complex, completely. It comes down to one crux: will I fix my eyes on me or on Him? My answer to that question works itself out over a thousand little moments and choices in my lifetime – it expresses itself a million different ways over my various seasons of life. But in the midst of the complexities of my daily existence, the staggering simplicity of this foundational question cannot be moved: will I have me or will I have Him?
At 2am last night, the choice became easy. I forgot about me, and dove straight into the great and endless ocean of Him.
I pray earnestly that you and I can have those moments of self-forgetfulness more often… perhaps one day often enough that the moments string themselves into days, and the days become years.
Because a life of forgetting me is a life of genuinely becoming myself.
Jamie and Kristina don’t know I’m sharing the following sound clip, but I decided that I simply had to. I left my phone on last night, recording some of the worship. The clip here is the very one that moved me to write this blog post. I’ve listened to it a dozen times today already. It might not speak to you in precisely the same way, but I’m sharing it nonetheless. May its unrehearsed and spontaneous gravity, beauty, and vulnerability fill you up with more of God Himself (it is so worth listening to all 4 minutes as their voices build into the song):