Monday, March 22

Lenten Meditations 2012

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Monday, March 22

Psalm 31; Exod. 4:10-20(21-26)27-31; 1 Cor. 14:1-19; Mark 9:30-41


Mark 9:35 "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."

“I wanna go first, me first” is often heard echoing from the playground as children scramble to get ahead of their playmates. Ask any of them why he deserves to be first, and he’ll concoct some clever reasons why he's more deserving than his friends. In fact, through out our lives, we continue to make up some pretty clever (and skewed) reasons as to why we deserve to always be first.

However a lifetime of people putting their own desires first, at all costs, culminated in disaster at Walmart on Black Friday at 5:30 a.m. When a 34 year old worker opened the doors to the store, customers literally trampled him to death in their desire to be first in the store. Tragically, a human life was lost over the burning desire for a cheap HD TV set. Hard to imagine, but true. I wonder how the shoppers were able to justify their horrific behavior to themselves. Did any of them call themselves Christians? What excuses do I use to justify my own “Me First” behavior?

This week, after reviewing some of my own actions, I have to say, I am disappointed in a big “Me First” pattern I found. It’s pretty safe to say Jesus would be disappointed too. Did I only give of my time when I there’s absolutely nothing else going on, or did I put God’s work first and schedule other activities around it?

Was I happy to let others spend their free time working for the church, while I kicked back and took it easy? While I live with a dizzying array of material possessions, what did I pull out to send to the people in Haiti? Was I actually sharing decent or almost new things that I might think worthy for myself? Or was I unloading a pair of stinky worn out running shoes that I'd tossed in the back of the closet and was unwilling to wear myself? Not much of a sacrifice there on my part.

For Lent this year I’m not going the deprivation route by giving up chocolate, wine, or such. Instead, I’m going to dig a bit deeper within myself and approach the season with action. Each day my goal is to look for and identify a “Me First” situation, then replace it with a Me Second plan - for the plain and simple reason if I want to be a servant to God, not myself, I must put God’s will first.

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