Unselfish Ambition

unselfish2Philippians 2:3 “…Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”

We laugh. We cry. We hope and dream. We crash and burn. We work, plan and play. We know where we’re going. We don’t have a clue about tomorrow. We love our Creator. We don’t even realize we bear his mark. Different people living at the same time in space and history.

Maybe we share more commonalities than meet the eye. Who would have thought the guy sitting at the table next to me in the coffee shop would be having a mentoring conversation about God with the young man across from him? Yeah, that guy. The one whose skull-bone headband holds back his green hair and whose number of piercings on his eyebrow alone make me wonder how he keeps his eye open. Who knew? He likes to talk about God. So do I.

Maybe it’s the same with that cashier—the one I had a mini-conversation with when I mentioned the unseemliness of experiencing snow in April. Our common bond of people-ness (as one writer describes it) connected us for a minute. And then there was last week…

My husband and I were traveling when we stopped at a McDonald’s for coffee. As we headed back to our car, a family pulled in next to us. The teenage daughter was wearing a T-shirt with the word Senior emblazoned across the front. That’s all my husband needed. Without hesitation, he asked, “Oh, so you’re just about through school.” A big smile covered her face as her mom acknowledged they were on their way from New York to Tennessee to check out where she would be going to college. “Where in Tennessee?”


“Our son went to school in Nashville at Belmont.”

“Belmont!” Mom, Dad and daughter all laughed. “That’s our destination!” It was a small moment, but another one of those connecting kind. People to people. Our day, and I’m sure theirs, was richer because of it.

I need more of those moments. I realize my reluctance to engage with others in small ways probably stems more from selfishness than shyness. It’s more comfortable to remain in my inner sphere. Easier to be thinking about me and my plans than the person in front of me. I’ve decided to change that. Intentionally… one encounter at a time.

It’s my unselfish ambition. Care to join me?

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