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

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean