The dishes are piled high in the sink, in the background I can hear the hum of the washing machine and dryer, on my dining room table there are clothes that should have been put away two days ago, and everywhere you look there is something that needs to be done... Today I will break up 1000 fights, I will kiss 25 boo-boos, I will listen to how unfair life is at least 55 times, and I will wonder if there is more to life than this.
I look into the eyes of women all the time and see the same thoughts and I know I'm not alone. We want to know that we matter, that this matters, that life is not pointless... I see it in the eyes of my children. They are looking for what makes them uniquely amazing. Is it soccer? Is it football? Am I smart? Am I talented? What one thing can define me so that I can be somebody?
We all want to be important. We starting asking children at 4 what they want to be when they grow up. We want them to know who they are and what makes them amazing. We all want to be somebody.
This is nothing new and it's very human of us... but what does the Bible say about this? What does Jesus have to say about our striving for greatness?
In Matthew 20 the Mother of James and John, two of Jesus' disciples came to him asking for greatness and position for her sons in Jesus' future kingdom. You see I think everyone that was following Jesus was doing so, because they had seen his miracles. They had seen his power and they craved that. They wanted to be close to the power. They thought he had come to be the new king of Israel and set her free from Roman rule. I don't think they had any idea what Jesus was really doing on earth and I think we are so much like that even in our day. I think we think following Jesus is going to bring us some kind of greatness. So, we die a 1000 deaths each day, because nothing great ever happens.
Jesus was constantly setting the disciples straight about what he was really doing and he does the same with us, but we just don't want to receive it. We keep ignoring the truth.
1. We are somebody, because we were created in the image of God and we bear his image in this world.
2. We are here to bring glory and honor to God BY SERVING OTHERS.
We have to hold on to these two truths or we will never, ever be satisfied in this life. We will always be striving for more.
Jesus said "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. ON THE CONTRARY, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your SLAVE; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to GIVE HIS LIFE- a ransom for many."
This is not the answer anyone wants to hear. I know that because our ways are not His ways, that's why Jesus said "on the contrary"... We need to let that phrase define our lives... On the contrary. God is doing something different than we think. Jesus said we must lay down our lives. We must die to our plans, hopes and dreams... and exchange them for his.
This makes me think about Star Wars again... To be a Jedi you must lay down your life for the greater good of the galaxy. You use your power for the good of everyone else, even if that means laying down you life... That was exhibited perfectly in Obi-Wan. He continually tried to remind Anakin that his life, his power, him being a Jedi was NOT ABOUT HIM. The greed and thirst of power and recognition turned Anakin from Jedi knight to Sith Lord, Darth Vadar.
When we forget what this is all about and that there is something greater than ourselves going on in the galaxy we become Darth Vadar... When I feel misunderstood, under-appreciated, ignored, purposeless I turn into a Sith Lord... I take my wrath out on everyone around me. It (the whole universe) becomes all about me. Every red light turns into something to whine about and say "It's not fair". Every mundane, necessary activity in my life becomes an obstacle to everyone realizing my greatness... but what if my greatness is found in living my little life wholly abandoned to the greater good of something other than myself? What if I play my little part in God's big story and keep my eyes focused on His big plan? Can I find satisfaction in that? I think so. What if my eyes are always open to the little moments that God is using in my life? What is it's those little moments of true connection with hurting people around me that make my life great? What if?