Sacred dibs

Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? When it comes to answering a call that God gives us, can we take dibs on how we are affected by that call? When he calls us to follow him, is it a good idea to take dibs on what we feel is fair for us despite the prospect of unfairness he may be calling us into?

My friend, lifes a story, welcome to This Passing Day.

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: “Putting yourself first doesn’t mean that you don’t care about others, it means you’re smart enough to know that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.” There is some truth to that adage in that when we are not at our optimum we are probably less than effective giving of ourselves to others. Here’s the issue though. It goes back to my childhood. Going first was always something that we as boys strove for

. Whether it was being the first team up to bat in baseball, the first one to ride a bike that was shared, or the first one to get second helpings of chicken at the dinner table, being first was important, almost sacred. It was the cause of many a battle between brothers and, for that matter, friends. That’s not to say that we didn’t try to be gracious at times. Take the shared bike for example. A typical scenario might be I’d let my brother ride first, all the time knowing that when my turn came I would keep it longer than I allowed him to. “With second helpings it was similar. Ok, you go first but take that piece while I have dibs on the bigger one there.” Taking dibs was part of a fairness issue that seemed to permeate all aspects of what we did as boys. Respecting dibs was a sacred part of the brotherhood of friends.

Taking dibs with a brother or a friend was common growing up. It was a part of most male relationships and dies hard even as we become adults. What about God, though. Can we take dibs with him? When he calls us to follow him, is it a good idea to take dibs on what we feel is fair for us despite the prospect of unfairness he may be calling us into?

Here’s a story. A socialist once came to see Andrew Carnegie and soon was railing against the injustice of Carnegie having so much money. In his view, wealth was meant to be divided equally. Carnegie asked his secretary for an assessment of everything he owned and at the same time looked up the figures on world population. He did a little arithmetic on a pad and then said to his secretary. “Give this gentleman l6 cents. That’s his share of my wealth.” (Unknown.)

In Jeremiah 1:8 God instructed the prophet Jeremiah, a man hated and treated most unfairly, to put himself ahead of his fears. “‘You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah sought some fairness here. He told the Lord that he was concerned for his ability to speak well. He was also concerned for his own safety. Out of a sense of fairness, he hoped that God would cut him some slack. In essence, Jeremiah took dibs on himself. God, like Andrew Carnegie, answered his plea with an equalizer: “I will speak for you. Don’t take dibs on your own sense of fairness. My standard surpasses yours.” It’s no different for us when we are called to hardship or sorrow because God, in his wisdom, has chosen these for us. It may not seem just and we may want to call dibs on our own feelings and comfort, but God urges us to let our guard down and just follow. Taking turns with God means he always goes first. For that matter, he has the divine dibs on all matters pertaining to our good; a sacred part of the brotherhood of Jesus Christ and us. Give him the dibs.

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We pray. Thank you Lord for calling us to do the work that your have purposed for us here on earth. Forgive us Father when we put our sense of what we feel is fair before your wisdom and mercy, which is always the essence of divine fairness. Remind us daily that your calling to us is perfect and we never be afraid for our own safety or comfort. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)

Thank you for tuning into This Passing Day. Join us at May this PASSING day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Dont let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

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