Mon., Nov. 12, 2018
Luke 22:26 – But don’t be like them. The most important one of you should be like the least important, and your leader should be like a servant.
What is “most important?”
I have always been a person who has struggled with this. Leadership gurus who want to help people accomplish more will say, “Pick out the top 3 most important things to do today and do them first.”
In theory, I agree. In reality, sometimes this works for me and sometimes it doesn’t. Maybe it’s a lack of discipline, a lack of commitment and lack of clarity. I can identify those things and sometimes they are accomplished and sometimes they aren’t.
Would you like to ponder this a bit more? Good. So, would I.
Maybe part of the reason I struggle with this is because I look at others around me and feel like they accomplish so much more than I do! I know it’s not helpful to compare ourselves to others. It’s really not a very good way to evaluate our lives. But don’t we do it all the time? Someone else is thinner. Someone else has a cooler house. Someone else has a nicer wardrobe. Do these things matter? No, unless it feels like the “most important” thing at the time.
Unfortunately, we condition our children and grandchildren this way. Don’t we aspire for them to be “the most important” or “the best” at something? Anything? We want them to be on a team that wins. We desire and long for them to be at the top of their class in whatever their passion maybe. We teach people that to get ahead, they must be the best.
However, we can’t all be “the best” at something. Life doesn’t work this way.
Recently, I was observing a competition. Hundreds of kids and parents and other people have put a whole lot of energy and effort into something either the kids or the parents have deemed as “important.” People had traveled thousands of miles, invested significant amounts of money into something their “kids” liked to do. (Well, at least, I hope they liked to do.) There were lots and lots of classes in the competition. Some classes had lots of competition; like 40 participants. There is no way in a class of 40, everyone is going to “win” or “be the best.” It just isn’t going to happen.
And so, a whole lot of kids, parents and others might have left the competition disappointment and let down. They expected to do “better.”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a high expectations person, most importantly with myself. I have not always been “the most important” or “the best.” I’ve spent a lot of my life not in first place or first position. And this is OK. And I am becoming more comfortable with this.
Is this wrong? Should I not be aspiring to be “the most important.”
Nope. I hope I’m discovering something with a little more experience under my belt. A little greyer in my hair. A little more seasoned in my approach.
Jesus, the only divine Son of God, told his closest group of friends, his disciples, “Don’t worry about being the most important. In fact, don’t aspire to this spot. Instead, become a servant, the one who is helping everyone else and not yearning to be at the top.”
It is so hard for us to wrap our heads around this kind of attitude, in which what we do is not foremost for ourselves, but to help someone else. This sounds foreign for most of us. So, counter-cultural, especially for those who live in the United States.
And so, I’m thinking less about being the “most important” these days. I’m really trying to be OK with “middle of the road.” My aspiration? To truly be a servant. I know I’m going to fail with this attitude over and over. There will be days when I will want to chase the “most important” ribbon. Days I’ll look at someone who has made it to the top and I’ll want to be like them. And then, I hope I’ll remember Jesus’ words. “Be a servant. Be proud to be a servant. There is no more important role than to be a servant.”
For the opportunity to be a servant to others and leave behind the “most important” trophy award, I am grateful.
Jesus, thank you for your words and your attitude of being a servant leader with my life. Forgive me for the many times I’ll still want to seek the “most important” award. Help me remember that being a servant is the higher calling in your kingdom. Amen.
If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.