I was just thinking about a conversation I had with a dear friend. He was talking about how schools bring in speakers to inspire the seniors each year do great things with their life as they move on from high school and in adult life. There was something unsettling to him regarding these lofty, grandiose goals being presented on our youth.
If I understood him correctly, I believe what he was conveying, is a need to acknowledge and encourage a life of sacrifice and a sense of peace for those who do the small things in life. The dignity and honor of what one does to daily care for themselves, their families and their communities.
This brought to mind the sermons from one of my pastors who said that some of the greatest saints will meet in heaven be people we had never heard of who lived humble lives in complete obscurity out of the public eye.
So much of how we view success is based on the material world in which we live. We view success as the money we earn, the possessions we acquire, the titles we hold, and the accolades we receive from the world around us. Yet God’s view, opinion, and ways are so far above the ways of man. We struggle to shift from this world view to the Kingdom view of our Father in heaven.
A few scriptures come to mind as I think about this concept.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
Several things I have heard and read over the past week have been stirring my thoughts of this conversation I had with my dear friend.
The first is the following quote from Victoria Erickson…
In the past several weeks I have been watching my dear friend make a life altering choice, which from my worldly, fleshy perspective, ends all hope for a happy joyous future for his life. Yet when I consider God’s words and His ways, I start to see his sacrifice as Christ’s call for those who wish to be His disciples.
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
As I prayed for my dear friend, I broke down weeping as I felt the weight of his circumstances. I felt a sadness thinking about how unfair this seemed. Him paying a price for another’s missteps and errors. Then I thought, how ironic – as we seek to walk so closely with Jesus in true intimacy, only saying what He says, going where He leads, why wouldn’t we also willingly pay a debt we did not accrue? Love those who have been unloving toward us?
I know my dear friend is sacrificing a lot, denying his own needs and desires to serve and care for someone who is unable to give anything in return, and from a worldly perspective this makes no sense. But I have great respect for him and his decision. He is an inspiration, and a true disciple of Christ.