Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's All About Me....Right?

Whenever I hear someone talk about serving others I am always intrigued by the idea. I like to picture to myself contributing to the lives of other people, helping to make their lives easier, better. I have grandiose visions of being the one who is always there when needed, quick to reply with a simple ‘yes, I can do that’ or ‘I’ll certainly be there to help.’ I can so easily get lost in those thoughts, those ideas. It makes me feel all tingly inside.

Then I usually come falling back to reality only to land once again so comfortably on my plush sofa in front of my 32” flat screen television. My wife- who is 9 months pregnant - is running around the house chasing my 2 year old son, Micah, while toting around my 14 month old son, Jonah. She makes it look so effortless. Dinner is on the stove, there’s a load in the laundry, my boys have on clean diapers, the den is free of toys and I can just sit back and relax. Life is grand.

Then she looks at me and asks “Could you please put Micah in his chair and start feeding him dinner?”

“Um…hello… I’m watching television? Anyway, you seem to be doing just fine.”

Then the phone rings. I don’t like talking on the phone. As a matter of fact, I hate talking on the phone. But I notice that it’s a buddy of mine, so I answer. He asks if I can come over tomorrow and help him spread a load of dirt throughout his yard. I don’t like moving dirt. As a matter of fact, I hate moving dirt. I am trying to figure out if there is any way out of this. Maybe Kristy will need help feeding Micah at lunch time tomorrow. Certainly that would be easier than moving dirt.

“I’ll have to get back to you buddy and let you know if I’m available tomorrow.”

So, what is it that stands between my grandiose visions and my reality? It’s really pretty plain and simple. I am selfish. I wish there were another way around it, I wish there were a prettier way to say it…but I’ve thought this through and it’s just the plain truth. I guess I’d be pretty content to stay selfish if it weren’t for the fact that I am a Christian and the fact that it really makes me feel like a bad person. Sometimes it makes me feel so bad that it motivates me to be a little more selfless, but most of the time… it doesn’t make me feel that bad. I figure that since this is the case, if I really want to live like a Christian, I’m probably going to just have to start choosing to act a little more selfless and all along the way continue to ask God to transform me.

I really do like myself in that grandiose vision of mine…not because it makes me look like a good person, but because I know that the person in that vision is making a radical impact on the lives of others for God Kingdom…and I really do like that.

Philippians 2:3-8 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!"

When I read passages like this, it really reminds me that Jesus is my hero. I have other heroes, guys like Brennan Manning (author), Rick Warren (Pastor), Jack Baurer (CTU Agent), but as cool as these guys are…they just don’t match up to Jesus.

I mean, Jesus taught a message – a ridiculously radical message – and then he went out and did it. Think about this – Jesus was God in the flesh, but he decided not to let that get in the way of getting himself killed for me. The Bible actually says that he made himself nothing, and that he took the nature of a servant.

Imagine that….God….a servant…

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