I have spotted some self-centerednessÂ Â in myself. Â It has been on the news for weeks. Â Somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 people have been displaced, now living in tents or worse. Â UN Special Envoy’s have been sent to help. Â They are unsure what the death toll is. Â Yet, even though there has been flooding for over 5 weeks in Pakistan, I haven’t paid much attention. Â Sure, I watched a short news clip once, read an article on CNN, and even said a cursory prayer or two, but in all honesty I haven’t really paid attention to the situation. Â It hasn’t affected me.
This past weekend something else caught my attention. Â Hurricane Earl. Â I was in Missouri, but my house was in Massachusetts, which for several days meant it was in theÂ hurricane’sÂ path. Â I sat fixated for hours on end in front of the TV, and in front of the computer, watching the news. Â Sometimes I watched the weather on TV, while I checked the weather on my computer at the same time. Â I wanted all the up-to-date information. Â I needed to know whether I was going to make it home before the hurricane, whether I needed to have someone go board up the windows to my house. Â I needed information so that I could take care of my family, my property and my life.
In the end Hurricane Earl ended up doing nothing next to nothing where I live. Â I don’t want to belittle what other people went through, because I do know that there were several people who were affected by the hurricane, but I wasn’t one of them. Â I wasn’t even one of the few hundred people in the state who lost power, or saw some minor flooding, or even had my travel plans affected. Â In fact, I did make it back to Mass before the hurricane, and when it came through that night I slept right through it.
In looking at my response to these two events, I can’t help but think how self-centered I’ve been. Â When it didn’t affect me personally, I barely paid attention. Â When it did concern me I could hardly think about anything else.
I’m fairly sure I didn’t live out what Christ said was the second greatest commandment, to “Love my neighbor as myself.”
I wonder if I am the only one?