I've "gone native" this morning. I slept in till noon. It's quite a feat for me but I think being on vacation this last week has helped. I was sick for a few days, low fever and congestion, but Im getting past it slowly but surely. I don't handle "resting" well. I don't like not doing anything with my day. So its been challenging to not be restless this week (even though I still had at least 3 hours of either church or teaching work each day). But last night, after getting home at 2am from a pastoral visit with a girl that I've been disciplng, I laid in bed and watched some tv, fully enjoying my alone time in my apartment. The truth is that over the last 3 years I've become quite a homebody. I'm afraid that it's going to result in even more selfishness and self-centeredness but the Lord has been faithful to give me plenty of opportunity to open my apartment, to chose to put someone else's need before my own. I have seen recently how self serving I am. When one of the kids in the church ask me to do something for them or with them and my attitude is unwilling because I "just don't feel like it", I realize how selfcentered I am, and how much I want to be other-centered. I see it too with the women in my church. I want to serve them, but on MY terms. I like to have control, to make the decisions, to choose the how and when. But that's not how Jesus served. And that's not how He wants His people to live.
So how do you become other-centered? I'm sure there is plenty of counsel for how to become more other-centered. But for me, the best way I can think of is: you pray that God would change your heart, and then you just do it. Even when the desire isn't really there. You act in accordance with how you WANT to be, not how you feel in the moment. And those actions help it become natural down the road.
So yeah, that's my prayer and my desire. That even in this "down" time, I would open to God bringing opportunities to serve Him in loving my brothers and sisters.