August 21, 2014

Thinking past ourselves, 'more than me, more than now'

Ryan Dobson Get Over Your Selfie  Gazing in the digital mirror, we lose the habit of seeing ourselves as part of a bigger story.

A Facebook  timeline goes back to 2007. The timeline for my father, James Dobson, goes back four generations to his great-grandfather. My great-great-grandfather was on his way to kill a man when he was diverted to a tent revival in a small Texas town. Instead of taking a life that night, M.V. Billingham gave his life to God. He left his gun on the altar.

M.V. was unarmed, but after that he habitually deployed a secret weapon. For most of his adult life, he routinely prayed for his son, for his son's children, and for their children to the fourth generation . . . all the way to my dad.  Whatever a "selfie" says about a person, this man was the opposite. With a strong sense of "more than me, more than now," more than a century ago, he prayed for people he'd never meet.

Did it make a difference? My family says yes. Among other things, my dad grew up aware of his place in a bigger story. He knew the next leg of the race was his to run; the baton was his to hand off.  Who's going to drop out of a relay like that? Not me. ….

We're losing the habit of thinking past ourselves. As we do, we lose our best selves and our best chances to help shape what comes next. We drop the baton.
Posted by Jill Fallon at August 21, 2014 12:04 PM | Permalink