When I was in college, Xanga became a thing. It was a beautiful season in the history of the world, a time when Facebook was reserved only for people with .edu email accounts, when the only way to have a gmail account was to be “invited” by someone who already had one, and IM was all the rage. Online Poker had not yet been outlawed, and any teen or early twenty-something could project their existential angst through the blogospheric megaphone of Xanga.
On my Xanga page, that eventually transitioned over to Blogspot before finally resting here, I had atop its heading one of my favorite quotes: “People don’t write because they want to say something, they write because they have something to say” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I’ve always cherished this quote, because it has persisted to ring true throughout my numerous seasons of blogging. I write for awhile and then I stop. After taking the past few weeks off, it seems as though I have something to say again. So here I am.
And here’s what I have to say: Get over yourself.
That, at least, seems to be part of what God says to Job in the closing chapters of the biblical narrative. The lectionary followed the story of Job through the month of October, highlighting texts that talked about Job’s suffering and others describing how his friends only made things worse. Job then demands an answer from God for why such atrocities had fallen upon him, but God refuses to play along. God’s response is unsettling and, if we’re being honest, feels quite crass. Get over yourself, Job. The world is bigger than you and your problems.
A good reminder for us all, though perhaps not the most tactful response.
But sometimes a tough, honest word is exactly what we need to hear. Sometimes we need to be drawn out and away from our thoughts, concerns, sufferings, and comfort. Often, we need to be reminded that everything isn’t about us. We more frequently need to be told to get over ourselves.
There is a time and place, of course, to lament and confess our struggles. That is healthy and needed as well. It’s not good to suffer alone, that’s another lesson from Job’s story. But it’s not good to sit and stay in our suffering, either. So get over yourself, step out and away from whatever it is that’s been bugging you, give yourself a break and get involved in someone else’s life – your kid’s, your spouse’s, your church’s, go volunteer, go outside, and give yourself permission to take a break from everything being about you.
Get out of your life and get in to someone else’s; it may be just the thing you need.