Luke 9:46 – 48 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is the least among you all – he is the greatest.”
I have to tell you a secret. But first, you must promise not to laugh. And then you must promise not to tell anyone. Do you promise?
Okay. I’ll tell you.
When I was young, I dreamed of being a famous singer.
I practiced for endless hours in my room, using a hair brush as a microphone. In my mind, I could hear the crowds roaring and singing along with my numerous #1 hit singles. I imagined my sparkling wardrobe (hey, this was the eighties. Rhinestones were in) and my flawless hair and make-up applied by experts in their fields. As my fans grappled for my autograph, I humbly and demurely said, “Oh, thank you. I am honored with all this attention.”
One summer while I was in college, I attended a singer/songwriter conference, and I was awed by some of the big names who were there. (I just knew I was going to be discovered.) But one singer’s words struck me, and they changed my life.
She said, “If God has called you to sing, then sing. Quit worrying about how big the audience is.”
I went home from that conference with a changed heart. I began to visit hospitals and nursing homes. I performed full-length concerts in tiny little churches with audiences of a dozen or less.
I eventually did have an opportunity or two to perform in front of thousands, and yes, it was thrilling. But no more thrilling than performing for one person, no more thrilling than doing what God had called me to do, simply to serve other people.
I learned that the joy wasn’t in being great. The joy came from using whatever gifts I had to serve God and others.
But in order to learn that lesson, I had to eat a big ol’ slice of humble pie. I had to be willing to let go of my dream of being great. I had to be willing to just serve.
Now, decades later, I still have to eat some of that pie now and then. But I’m glad for the lesson that true greatness can be found not in glory, but in service.
Dear Father, Thank You for Your patience with me. Help me to find joy in serving others, instead of seeking to be honored and served by them.