There are no mirrors over the sinks in the restrooms at Disney World. Why not, you ask? The smart people who operate the Mickey Mouse Kingdom figure that people will spend too much time primping themselves at the sinks, slowing the flow of folks in and out of the restrooms. The MSN article detailing this interesting piece of Disney trivia states that there are mirrors near the restroom exits, I suppose, so no one has a bad hair day.
We humans do have a tendency to focus on self, whether there’s a mirror involved or not. When shown a group photo of which we’re a part, whose face do we look for first? Our own, of course. It’s part of our human nature, our fallen and sinful human nature, to focus on self. Christians worship and serve the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but it’s so easy, instead, to worship and serve the triune self, Me, Myself, and I.
Narcissus, a Greek mythological figure, was so enamored with the reflection of himself in a pool of water that he fell in love with himself and couldn’t bear to leave the pool of water. His fixation with himself led to his death. The story’s a myth with implications for our lives; when we focus on self we threaten the very existence of ourselves.
God’s design for the life He’s given us is to live for Him and for others, not for self. John Newton, the composer of the great hymn, AMAZING GRACE, wrote in a letter to a friend, “Most of our perplexities arise from an undue, though perhaps unperceived, attachment to SELF.”
Ironically, the more we focus beyond our self the more satisfying life is. I’ve learned, for instance, that when entering a room of people concerned as to whether anyone will talk with me, I’m self-conscious, awkward, and unable to relate very well. I don’t end up having a very good time. On the other hand, if I determine to search out others who appear bashful and close to becoming a wall flower and engage them in conversation, then I forget about myself and end up having a good time.
Mirrors are necessary, even in Disney World. It’s just that reflecting on ourselves shouldn’t be our main focus!
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4