I had anticipated this trip to our local mall for weeks. Armed with my coupons, some mail promotions, and a list of special email offers, I wanted to use this opportunity to get a head start on some serious Christmas shopping. My husband, who does not share my mall excitement or coupon enthusiasm, willingly accompanied me on my quest. As we approached the bridge, one exit before the ramp leading to my shopping bliss, my hubby showed intense interest in a huge construction project underway along the river. Let’s exit here instead and take a look at this first, then we can travel up to the mall, he suggested.
Seriously? Do I want to look at a bunch of cranes, dump trucks, and bulldozers with my shopping haven within reach? I thought this was MY day, MY trip? I voiced my opposition with subtlety, yet not to be misunderstood, (a well-placed sigh and shoulder shrug can be very effective), leaving no confusion as to how how I felt about the thought of a detour, and my sweet husband continued toward MY coveted destination. We had no sooner passed the exit that my husband had suggested we use and a rock flew up from a passing construction vehicle and cracked our windshield, on my side, DIRECTLY in my line-of-sight. Sigh…again. The Holy Spirit’s conviction can arrive in mysterious ways, right? And how my husband held back a well-deserved I told you so is incomprehensible. We had it repaired, but now, every time I get into the car and gaze directly into that windshield scar before me, I have a vivid reminder of how terribly hard-headed and self-centered my flesh can be, God’s very effective I told you so. How convicting to this stubborn old girl!
Jesus strikes at the heart of self-centeredness with this pointed declaration: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Deny himself. Sounds easy, but it is so TOUGH to accomplish, at least for me. To deny myself, what I want, my desires, my plans, and “in lowliness of mind…esteem other better than” myself. That has been the struggle of mankind since creation. Oh, that we all could be so rooted in the love of Christ that we seek not “to please ourselves” but be willing to place a neighbor, spouse, friend, or child, and most importantly, God, before us, “for the good of edification.” Ponder the effect that selflessness and “lowliness of mind” would have on the workplace, the school day, a trip to Walmart, our homes, our neighborhoods, and our local churches.
When the disciples bickered among themselves as to “which of them should be the greatest,” Jesus responded that “whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” A servant? That certainly rubs against the flesh, doesn’t it? But we are left with an example to follow, for Jesus, that suffering Servant, “who endured the cross” in my stead, set the precedent of selflessness for us. The Son of God, Who “made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant…humbled himself, and became obedient unto death.” That precious attitude exemplifies the selflessness that should be a blueprint for my life. Oh, to be like HIM, to replace MY will with HIS will! That’s my prayer and desire. May that cracked windshield be a reminder to me that selfishness in my life is an ugly scar that mars my testimony for Him.
Mark 12:31 Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Lord, grace my life with Your humility, Your willingness to be a servant. Help me to be mindful of Your leading, and to put my will aside and allow YOU to lead.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1321-62840f9153281' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1321&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1321-62840f9153281' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1321-62840f9153281' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>