Failing Followers: misunderstanding greatness {Blogging through the Bible} | The Speckled Goat: Failing Followers: misunderstanding greatness {Blogging through the Bible}


Failing Followers: misunderstanding greatness {Blogging through the Bible}

greatness in the kingdom of God gospel of mark christian devotion

I kind of knew that being a mom would be challenging.

I mean, I've been around kids my whole life- I grew up in a relatively large family, my mom did home daycare for a while, I have oodles of nieces and nephews...

But I guess when I thought about being a parent, I didn't really take into account all the things that came with it. Especially after we waited and prayed for this child for five long years... I guess that I somehow thought that after our battle with infertility, I'd come through the flames infinitely patient and wise and even-tempered.

Cut to last night, rocking my freshly bathed little boy to sleep.... I was actually afraid that I was going to literally drop him as my super-angry little overtired rage monster made serious attempts to throw himself out of my arms while screaming at the top of his tiny lungs.

It hasn't all been rosy. Even though my little boy is an incredible blessing and is happy and smiling about ninety percent of the time and is just so much fun, there are definitely hard moments.

And one thing I guess I didn't bank on when I thought about motherhood was just how important I'd be.

I'm so, so needed. All the time. For nourishment, comfort, entertainment. I feed him, I bathe him, change him, play, sing songs, read books, keep his clothing clean, burp him, I rock him to sleep... and while my husband is very helpful and does a lot of this, too, it still so often feels like it's all up to me. I'm just so necessary.

"When he was in the house, he asked them, 'What were you arguing about on the road?' But they kept quiet because on the way they ad argued about who was the greatest." -Mark 9:33-34

It's nice to be important.

I'm the personality type that I like being needed (ESFJ!). It makes me feel significant. And don't we all want to be significant?

Whether its in our jobs or in our communities or in our families, we want to be important. And sometimes, that desire to be needed and valuable is catalyzed by fear and leads us to competition.

And so the disciples argue on the road about who is greatest.

"Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, 'If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.' He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 'Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.'" -Mark 9:35-37

See, the thing about greatness in the Kingdom of God is that it doesn't really look like greatness. It looks like servitude. It looks like sacrifice.

And as much as it really really doesn't feel like it, greatness is wiping bottoms and cleaning up spit up and rocking a screaming baby until he calms down enough to fall asleep. It's mopping the floor of the soup kitchen, it's updating the spreadsheet when everyone else has already gone home, it's caring for the broken and the hurting and loving people when they're hard to love.

I'm not sure that the disciples really considered that.

They're in the middle of this great, immensely famous movement, and they want the glory. They want to be known and to be important, to have their names be synonymous with the miracles and mission of Jesus.

But they miss the mark when it comes to what greatness means in the Kingdom of God. They have the wrong idea of what it means to be great. Because greatness, when it comes to Christianity, means gritty, grimy, grueling.

I'll be the first to admit that I'd much rather just have the glory and forget the rest. The results without the work.

I want to be important to my little boy, but I'd really rather not clean up after the latest spit up or have to deal with tantrums before every single nap time (yay four month sleep regression...). But in Christianity, the least becomes the greatest. The king is the one who has sacrificed everything.

What about you?

Do you want the glory without the guts? Does your life often feel menial and insignificant? Do you struggle to find meaning in service? When it comes to greatness, are you stuck in the world's ideas or can you see God's Kingdom plan?

In my current life, in this season, I'm finding that the service and sacrifice of motherhood is bringing me closer to holiness. It's sanctifying. It's hard, and I'm realizing just how selfish I really am, and all the places that I'm being rubbed raw are the same places I'm being polished and made more like Christ. It's hard to remember in the moment.

In this backwards world we live in, it's hard to remember that the least is really the greatest. The ones who scrape and serve will have more honor and more glory, even though it doesn't look like it now.

We can't expect significance without sacrifice. 

And so I'm asking that God would take my fumbling and my failure and help me to follow better. To serve well and to give of myself so that my significance would be Kingdom significance, not worldly meaning. I want to be patient with the process, and learn to be least so I can be greatest.

...   ...   ...

This post is part of the Blogging through the Bible link up!

Members of my Blogging through the Bible group have each chosen a book of the Bible to study and write about! This is a fun opportunity to get to know more Christian bloggers, and to dig deeper with them into God's Word!

Please stop by some of these blogs to read what they have to share today!

(If you're interested in joining in on the link up, I encourage you to join the Facebook Group!)

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1 comment :

  1. I remember those days! My third daughter had the hardest time going to sleep for about 3 years. I would wrap her in her blanket as tightly as possible, hold her almost crushed to my chest in the rocking chair and rock while she screamed as though I were killing her...for 15-45 seconds and then she would drop off to sleep for a whole 45 minutes. Her sisters did not prepare me for her! The last shall be first...true, but even a servant gets a break sometime, right? Your break will be in a few years (or maybe he'll sleep through the night sooner). Right now enjoy the constant demands of being on-call for your little guy, knowing that this won't last forever (or even a few years) and all too soon you will be looking back on these days and missing them! This is the season of your life that is the most demanding, most rewarding and the best days of your life.