I have spent alot of time lately thinking about the travelers on the road to Emmaus. You remember the story at the end of Luke? Shortly after Jesus' death, two men were travelling when Jesus appeared to them. Only they didn't recognize it was Jesus at first. How many times have I neglected to recognize Jesus in my life? I have gotten really good at creating these fantasies in my head of how I think Jesus should act that sometimes I fail to see Him when He is right in front of me.
That's what I think happened with these men. Jesus' death took them by surprise. They were so focused on their current problem, Israel's oppression, that they failed to see the bigger picture. Jesus was supposed to be their Savior yet now he was gone and Rome must have seemed even more powerful. They missed the looming problem, the oppression of the world and it was hard for them to see how Jesus' death could have solved anything. It took Jesus himself to explain everything to them before these men could understand that His death was a victory and not a defeat.
I can so relate to these men. My self-centeredness leads me to miss so much of what God has for me. I focus on my own small problems and I miss how God might want to use me for something or someone else. When God doesn't act the way I think He should, I become distraught and short-sighted and I forget that this life is not all about me. How I long for the sense of community that is described in the early church in Acts.
Lord, change my heart, help my focus to be other-centered instead of self-centered. Transform me to be genuinely happy for the blessings you provide for others and show me the ways you have provided for me to be a vessel for some of those blessings. Help me to see the big picture and when things don't go my way, help me to remember that you promise to work all things for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purposes - all the people, not just me.