One of my all-time favorite youtube videos is of a sweet and independent toddler trying to put her seatbelt on. She is obviously struggling. So Daddy asks, “do you want help?”, she responds politely, “ no thank you.” Daddy then asks “what do you want me to do?” She responds, “ you worry about youself.” Sweet but defiant, she remains determined to fasten the seat belt herself. Repeatedly she tells Daddy “you worry about youself.” Frustrated that the attention still rests on her, she admonishes her father, “ Daddy drive! You worry about youself!”
This has inspired an expression in my house- you do you.
It works for lots of scenarios.
Brother irritating you-you do you.
You feel embarrassed or nervous about an upcoming project-you do you!
You feel guilty for wanting some me time-you do you.
Turns out there is some spiritual truth to. Instead of worrying about what others think or what others are doing-focus on you.
The story goes like this. Peter and Jesus are on the beach after his resurrection. Peter and Jesus are visiting and Peter asks Jesus, “what about that guy?” Tradition teaches Peter points to the disciple John. What inspired Peter to ask that about John?
The previous conversation between Peter and Jesus points us in the right direction. Jesus had asked Peter, “do you love me?” Peter, not wanting to be unclear, “of course Lord, I l love you!” Their interaction repeats itself three times. Each time Jesus then instructs Peter, that if he indeed loves him, “you will feed my lambs.” Meaning, we have a responsibility to our neighbors, those that Jesus loves. Picking up at the beginning, we can assume Peter wants to know If I’m to love those people, what is John supposed to do? He points and asks, “what about him?” Now, if you grew up with a brother or sister-you understand that impulse. Insert whining tone, “What hard job does heee have to do?”
Jesus responds, “ Peter if I will that John lives forever. What does it matter? You follow me.”
Boom. Shut down.
Jesus says you do you.
How often I get distracted by what so and so is doing. I have advice, a critique. Complain to others that “they” aren’t doing their job or not very well. We see these tendencies in ourselves and others in our jobs, families. We want to be up in everyone’s business. We see it in our churches. We think we can nanny each other into the kingdom.
Bigger than that, I have been guilty of looking at people I admire and wish I had their talents or their job. I sometimes unsatisfied with my lot. But Jesus reminds Peter and me, you just need to follow Him.
Jesus asks what does it matter what is going on around you. You focus on me.
Jesus’s command succinctly expresses, I have a purpose for you. You follow me.
Do we need to ignore others and become hyper-focused on ourselves? No. Jesus says if we love him we will do the very opposite. The difference is that when we focus on Christ, real love pours out from that. We then can lead others to follow Him as well. If we can authentically follow Christ, the rest takes care of itself.
You do you.