I had a friend a long time ago who always ended up in the center of whatever group photo was being taken. It wasn’t really a big deal and to my knowledge nobody really thought about it, until one of the group of friends pointed it out and then it became obvious that this person always arranged for himself to be at the center of the photo. Just finished a service project and wanted to take a group photo. Bam! There he was in the center of the photo. Attended a wedding that this person only knew tangentially. Pow! He would suddenly appear right beside the bride and groom smiling away. It wasn’t a big deal … because someone has to be in the center of the photo and this person was a fine person so no one cared if he wanted to be in the center of the photo. Still it was very obvious that he always wanted to be at the center of the photo.
There are, however, people who have to be in the center of every story and the center of all attention. These people need to take everybody else’s good event or accomplishment and somehow turn it into something that praises themselves or belittle the current thing by pointing out how much better something they did was. Leith Anderson described these people as “chip stealers” because they are always trying to take the credit and steal people’s “chips”. I wrote about “ministry poker chips” here.
I witnessed this recently with someone having a conversation with Pam. The conversation started about something that Pam had done. Eventually this person joined in the conversation and directed Pam’s accomplishment back toward himself. Of course, “good” husband that I am I didn’t recognize this until a day later when I was mulling the dialogue over in my head because something didn’t feel right. So all I could do was fume over the fact that the person had turned Pam’s accomplishment around to focus on them and regret that I hadn’t turned it back to Pam.
Anyhow, watch out for those “center of the photo” people. Most of them are probably pretty nice but I few are down right nasty. Avoid allowing those “nasty” ones to steal the center of your photos, but you probably don’t have to worry so much about the nice ones.
SIDE NOTE – The 2017 Deer Hunting Season is over for me. I didn’t get anything this year because 1) everything I saw was just out of my comfortable shooting range during bow season, and 2) i passed up all the deer I saw at the beginning of the season thinking that I would see something bigger later. I didn’t. Next year I’m shooting the first deer I see … even if it is the size of a Chihuahua. The good news is that I finished 3 books and started a 4th (Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Letters from Prison“) during gun season.