Skip to main content

Well done

I wonder how many of us could say we have done well with Mother Teresa's challenges to "be faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies." Our strength lies not in the greatness we achieve, but in the faithfulness we manifest in doing the things that it is likely nobody will notice! I think that is what Jesus had in mind when he challenged his disciples to tell them what they had spent so much time arguing about while on a journey one day. It was right after they had been out on a mission with Jesus, listening to him teach, seeing him work miracles, observing great deliverance from lifelong disease and demon-possession. They find themselves right where we find ourselves many times - wondering who will be the greatest among them - who will be the 'most favored' of all the disciples Jesus. Isn't it strange that we worry about who will 'rise to the top' more than we think about all that can be accomplished just by being faithful in the little things?

And so they arrived at Capernaum. When they were settled in the house where they were to stay, he asked them, “What were you discussing out on the road?” But they were ashamed to answer, for they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest! He sat down and called them around him and said, “Anyone wanting to be the greatest must be the least—the servant of all!” Then he placed a little child among them; and taking the child in his arms he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming my Father who sent me!” (Mark 9:33-37)

I think I might be ashamed to answer if Jesus just came right out and asked me point blank such a question. Oh, wait...he has asked that question of me on more than one occasion! I am pretty sure that I am not the only one that gets their undies in a wad on occasion when someone seems to get all the credit for the work others have done, am I? I think that is what irked me so much about having to do all those team projects in school - someone usually did more work than the others, but we ALL received the same grade for the project. It didn't seem fair - isn't that what envy is all about - someone gets more than we think they deserve? Faithfulness isn't about always receiving the credit - it is about putting forth whatever effort God expects of us, consistently and without fail, and letting him get the credit!

The disciples were just asking the logical question any group would ask - so don't judge them too harshly. They were used to a system of 'checks and balances' that allowed certain 'privileges' as a result of certain efforts. It was how every government or religious system of the day worked. You do well by the king and you were elevated to a place of prominence in his government. You could work the fields for years and years, never being noticed, but one day you uncover a plot to kill the king, sending a message in earnest hope it reaches his court before the vile offense can be carried out, and the next day you are wearing royal garb! No wonder they were focused on 'who would be first' in God's kingdom. It was just natural that they would think that way.

Jesus challenged them, though. He used a simple illustration that revealed to them something they had overlooked - it is about embracing service, not about striving for greatness. Don't be afraid to embrace the little things in life with all the fervor you can bring forth. It isn't in the big things we do that we find our greatest joy - it is the day by day faithfulness to the little things that we find our reward. We think our reward is based on what others will see and notice, but our reward is most often found in the simple words, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant"...the words Jesus speaks deep into our soul, not shouted out for public display. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came fro…

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…