I moved house recently. Actually, I've moved house twice in the last month. But that's besides the point, I moved house. And it was actually quite a humbling experience to move - though I wouldn't suggest moving house just for the experience of it.
It was humbling because the night before my big move I had all my stuff piled up in a corner of the bedroom at my parent's place. My whole life (or at least the physical representation of it) fit snugly into a small corner. As wonderful as I like to think I am (ha!), that's it: a small corner. The image got even scarier for me when I packed it all into the back of my car (which often gets confused as a child's Matchbox car!)
I don't know about you, but as I go through life I often forget that the world would actually exist without me. If I wasn't here the world would actually keep spinning around. It seems like an obvious statement, but it just hadn't hit me how small a part of the universe I really am. I shudder to type this, but I'm not (brace yourself) special.
We've bought into the belief that the world revolves around us, not the sun. Cosmetic companies have led us to believe "You're worth it". We tell our children that their special, even from a young age. But really, in the whole make up of the universe, we're nothing but a speck.
Yet, despite my smallness, despite the fact my whole life only just fits into the back of my little yellow Suzuki; God, the author of creation, chooses to act through me. And this is the crucial point: we're not special, the world would and does go on despite of us, we are but a speck in the Creator's eye. We're not special, but we are loved and we are chosen. It's a crucial point because our vocation isn't about "being special". When we respond to God's call in our life we are actually responding to the love that created the whole universe and THAT is special!
My favourite piece of advice to young people is get over yourself. We live in a world that tells us to worry only about ourselves. Even as Christians we can be introspective naval gazers. But in a world where the vulnerable in our society are increasingly ignored, that's just not good enough. What makes you anymore special than that mother seeking a refuge and a safer future for her children? What makes you anymore special than the father who struggles with depression because his income only just helps make ends meet? What makes your life anymore special that that child in your womb or an elderly person?
The greatest commandment is to love God and to love others as we love ourselves. Well, I see a lot of people loving themselves and a lot of other people who have had their dignity denied. Get over yourself (I mean that in the kindest, yet still most challenging way). This life was never just about you.