Sunday, August 28, 2011

Humble Thyself: My Greatest Lesson...


This morning’s sermon at New Hope E-Free Church helped me to put together all the emotions that I have had this past summer into one general idea. The Unforgiving Servant. Matthew 18:21-35. How many times shall I forgive?
Ironically, it was the first portion of the sermon that for ME made the most impact. The first question truly is, “How do I enter the Kingdom of Heaven?” Because, if we don’t answer that question, then we really don’t need to answer the question of “How many times do I have to forgive?” And Jesus’ reply to that question of “How do I enter the Kingdom of Heaven” was (Matt 18:4) “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Hmm. Does that mean I need to be innocent like a child? No. Children are not innocent. Have you met any? “No! Mine! I don’t want to! No! Mine! I don’t want to!” Children certainly are not innocent. However, they do lack status. They were not considered important to “society” in the biblical times, and they are not considered “important “ today. Sure, they have future value…but do they really impact society today? No.
So, what does it mean that I need to approach the throne of God like a child? It means, I need to humble myself and realize that what might be considered worthy here on Earth, certainly is not the same as “worthy” to God. In other words…
I must die to myself…
I must take up MY cross to follow Him. I MUST do whatever keeps me PURE in order to follow Him.
I used to say that I left the retail Industry in order to make more money, even if it meant I wasn’t making more money. For example, I used to walk out that door of Victoria’s Secret or Marshall Field’s with new purchases because I DESERVED them for what I had put up with as far as stress in my workday. I would BUY the GOOD DEALS because I deserved it. But, did it get me any closer to Heaven? Similarly, in my recent work I have been making good money, but I had also been feeling more stress, seeing less of my home, dealing less with my daughter or my husband, and spending more in order to fill that empty hole that develops when one is not fulfilling all the needs in one’s life.
Recently, I have been faced with the decision to take a “higher paying, more certainty, higher-prestige” type of job verses taking a “less-certain, up-hill both ways, half the pay I used to make” kind of job in order to enjoy my daughter, be an advocate for my daughter, teach my daughter, love my daughter-serve my husband, enjoy my husband and THANK my husband for all the burdens he has taken on over the past few years. Today’s sermon at church soothed my heart and eased my mind and said to me, “Tammie, you have done well.”
Did I want door number one or door number two? Well. Considering that families of children with special needs have an 80% divorce rate, considering that I was completely absent from my daughter’s life in the morning, and that my daughter’s life was never going to “get easier”; considering that school will get harder, friends will be more difficult to make and difficult to keep; considering that Jeff and I would be sending her to daycare after school rather than into the warm, welcoming, nurturing home of our own…I just couldn’t do it. I had to humble myself…
I had to say, “Forget the BA; forget the MA. Forget the paycheck. Forget the prestige. Forget the stability. Forget the title under “place of work” on Facebook. Forget being “offered” a job, but go instead and ASK for one. Forget getting an interview and having people recommend you; instead find out where you are NEEDED because no one else is sure they want to do it. Forget getting served…instead, go serve…”
After days and nights of wondering if I made the right choice on Monday and Tuesday of last week by turning down one job offer and ASKING for another…today’s sermon at New Hope confirmed for me what I already knew in my heart…God is pleased.
And, if my God is pleased, need I present any other evidence???

Reno

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