My friend, may I ask you a question? A statement about “me” first is the norm these days prior to any opportunity to serve others. While it may be important to be heard and perhaps even seen, how important is it to know that others know we’re listening and allowing them to, perhaps, be first?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
When my two oldest grandsons, James and Jayson, were growing up, they were fairly competitive in most things. There was an incident some years ago when James, at the time only a little over three, and Jayson, not quite two, were visiting Nana and Papa for the day. I was having a snack and was just about to bite into one of the pretzels I had placed on a plate next to me when both boys came clambering over to where I was sitting. I looked into their sad little faces and began to feel guilty. “Who would like a pretzel?” I offered repentantly. James, being the older and the bigger of the two began jumping up and down. “Me! ME! And he pushed his way in front of little Jayson, as he often did. Instinctively, I sought out Jayson, however, and gave him the first treat. James, a bit disappointed, had to wait until I was done treating Jayson. Like my grandpa used to say, “There’s something about being at the front of the line too quickly that buys you last place in the end.”
We live in a day and age where being first, grabbing as much of the focus and attention on ourselves, is not only common, it’s expected. I remember a time not too long ago when Holly and I were looking through a photo album. There were scores of pictures of her and the kids, but none of me. Why? I was behind the camera taking the pictures. The culture we live in today has changed all that. The first picture you snap is a selfie–everyone knows that? A statement about “me” first is the norm these days prior to any opportunity to showcase others. While it may be important to be heard and perhaps even seen, how important is it to know that others know we’re listening and allowing them to, perhaps, be first?
Here’s a story: Two friends met for dinner in a restaurant. Each requested filet of sole, and after a few minutes the waiter came back with their order. Two pieces of fish, a large and a small, were on the same platter. One of the men proceeded to serve his friend. Placing the small piece on a plate, he handed it across the table. “Well, you certainly do have nerve!” said his friend. “Why?” asked the other. “Look,” he answered. “You’ve given me the little piece and kept the big one for yourself.” “How would you have done it?” the man asked. His friend replied, “If I were serving, I would have given you the big piece.” “Well,” replied the man, “I’ve got it, haven't I?” At this, they both laughed. (Daily Bread)
It’s been said, “God sends no one away empty except those who are full of self.” That’s a good lesson for all of us to understand. Matthew 16:24 teaches. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Like little James, it’s easy to shout “Me! Me!” We do it every day when someone cuts us off in traffic or somebody takes that last spot on the elevator. “Hey! I want to be first!” That’s really what we’re saying when we focus too keenly on our space, our rights and–our-selfies? But Christ says, to be his disciple requires the difficult ability to deny self and be content to let others go first. As Jayson got the pretzel, so we too stand to get the prize. It’s really just a matter of getting comfortable at the end of the line and putting the selfie thing away.
We pray. Thank you Lord for so selflessly putting yourself after us in order to be the sacrifice for us that the Father intended you to be. Help us Lord to put ourselves after others in our lives in response to your sacrifice and your willingness to put us first. Forgive us when we become so engrossed in ourselves in a culture that teaches that life is all about “me” and others need to know that our needs come before theirs, that our selfie-self becomes loud and annoying. 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. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. 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. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
God bless you for Jesus sake.