March 19, 2015

Becoming Great

... But whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. -Matthew 20:26-28

What a privilege we have, to live this life as a servant, bearing and birthing tiny creatures who don't offer us the choice, to serve or not to serve. Selflessness is demanded, required, unceasing.

I'm learning a little more every day what it is to give continually. To give my ears, my heart, my body. Not just to those tiny creatures, but even after a frustrating afternoon still give to my husband when he comes home, and to the people I interact with as I go about my day.

Learning it's not a competition or a scale we have to balance, who gave more, who's felt more unloved or devalued. Our greatest commandment is to love, and love usually looks more like serving than it does conquering.

It takes a very special pair of rose colored glasses to see this life of serving as a privilege, to believe that we are becoming great with all our giving. Those glasses are rose colored and thorn covered.

This serving-life draws blood, asks for the very sustenance of our life. It can leave us feeling more at risk to bacteria and disease than feeling great or strong.

Maybe my theology has been rattled by all the crying, but I've been thinking Jesus might not have come to teach lessons or gain a following, but to serve. The miracles, demonstrations of power, raising Himself from the dead- maybe it was all serving. If so, shouldn't that be our greatest honor, the highest goal?

But we're humans, and giving without always getting is hard and uncomfortable. How could changing diapers and bounce-walking earn us anything but a sore back? 

Days are long and makeup smears, hair gets frazzled and we all shed at least a few tears. Clothes get spit-up and snot wiped on, but I'm becoming great. Magazines and Instagram celebrities mostly document the clean white blankets and adorable outfits, but even those moms are becoming great. The ones with potty-trained tots, sleeping-through-the-night babies, and tantrum-less days. We all get our opportunities to serve, to give without getting. And it's a privilege. We are becoming great.