A few weeks ago every news outlet was filled with information about the Swine Flu, or H1N1 virus. Interestingly over the past few weeks we have shuffled that to the background as old news. The virus is still infecting people, in fact the numbers are growing, only now it is old news. There is another epidemic lose in our world that receives the same treatment. It is not something doctor's diagnose. It is not something which requires quarantine. It is not a new epidemic. I call it meitis(me-itis). This is a condition where it becomes virtually impossible for a person to take their eyes off themselves.
While a good portion of the world suffers from meitis, the most pervasive outbreak seems to be in the church in America. We have become so accustom to life being tailored to our standards, desires, hopes and dreams that we have lost sight of anything outside ourselves. Oh, in the church we have learned to put the right words to it so it sounds like concern for others, yet it really is about me. I am often overwhelmed by the number of people who share with me the ways the life of the church is not fitting what they want, or how the church should be specializing to them. The people refereed to are not new followers, the claim to people who are mature in their journey. Yet they are looking for the church and I suspect God, to be personally tailored to them.
Problem, that is not how Jesus ever portrayed live to be. Over and over Jesus showed how his followers were people who looked to God first, and themselves last. Meitis would not have been tolerated, just ask the rich young ruler, ask James and John who wanted seats of honor. Meitis causes us to think we should have a designer faith, like there is a religious buffet spread before us and we can pick an choose based on our likes and dislikes. Not once considering there might be more to life than me.
If the epidemic is not addressed the church of Jesus Christ will become a lifeless place of competing personal agendas. Everyone will want it their way, and to have everything meet their approval. Mark 8 reminds us we must deny ourselves and pick up our cross, this is where we begin to find the cure. But the medicine is not real fun because we might have to change and not be the person of primary importance in our lives.