he must become greater. i must become less.

August 17, 2008

One of the things that I have and continue to struggle with is this need for attention.  This need to get credit for the things that I do.  Ultimately, this need to make it all about me.  Which it’s not.  It’s so easy to get caught up in seeking the approval of man.  An approval that has no merit in eternity and therefore, shouldn’t have any merit now.  On more than one occasion I have noticed myself wondering what someone is thinking about me when I worship or I will feel the need to receive a “thanks” for something that I did.  I hate that.  I shouldn’t do things because I want to look good.  I do things to please my God.  This is why I was so very thankful for the spiritual lesson that was taught to me tonight while working.

At Johnny Rockets every server has side work that they have to accomplish before they go home.  One of the most dreaded ones is chili station.  To sum it up: it is gross, takes forever, and basically ensures that you will be one of the last ones to leave the restaurant.  No one EVER wants chili station.  Tonight chili station was given to my dear co-worker, Meghan.  I was thankful that I was given a relatively easy side work that would get me home fairly early.  Then, Meghan asked me if I would take chili station so that she could go to a going-away party for some friends.  I was reluctant but, remembering what a friend had mentioned at bible study about ways to be a stranger,  I finally was able to spit out a “yes.”

Even though I had already said yes, throughout my entire shift I found myself looking for some reason to go to Meghan and tell her that I had changed my mind.  Meghan finally headed out for the night and I realized that it was too late now.  I was stuck.  My shift ended and I started the task.  As I was finishing up, I remembered what I was made to do: love God and love people.  I should be over-joyed for the opportunity to serve my God even through working at an over-priced, 50’s style restaurant.  I was happy when I finished and didn’t get too much of a thank you.  There was no one praising my name or paying me extra because I had done it.  And I LOVED that.  God was reminding me that I didn’t do things to bring attention to myself.  I took that chili station to serve God and in hopes that someone would go “Hmm.  I wonder why she would do something like that.”  and I could eagerly respond that it was to serve my God and him alone.

There is a story in John that I love about how John’s only purpose was to prepare the way for Christ and give ALL GLORY to him.  I was reminded of it tonight and I thought I would share:

John 3: 25-30 says:

25An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

27To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ 29The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must become greater; I must become less.

He must become greater; I must become less. John knew that his purpose was to prepare the way for Christ.  Not to make himself great.  Our flesh prompts us into spending our entire life trying to make ourselves great instead of doing things to serve Christ and lift Him up with our lives.

So please, if you ever see me getting any attention at all, remind me that he must become greater; I must become less.  That is my prayer.

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