Jared C. Wilson wrote a piece yesterday titled “The Way to Greatness“. This got me thinking:
Like the disciples, we seem to be always jockeying for position. We are driven to succeed, to prosper, to win. So when someone else gets the promotion at work, someone else gets the recognition at church, someone else gets the trophy at play, we battle resentment. It happens in a million ways, big and small. For some of us, it only takes losing a parking space or the big piece of chicken at dinner to feel slighted.
During a worship service at church recently, a fellow member was given recognition for something artistic he had worked on. In that moment, I felt my heart begin to quicken; I felt jealousy and resentment kick into high gear.
For the past 10 years, I have served my church in the area of web and graphic design. I took on the volunteer position because I saw a need: our church web site was terrible! I knew I could do better. I also knew that I could help the church step up their communication game. So I talked to the pastor, and he was all in.
I served quietly in the background, providing not only web design but graphic design in the way of slides for the worship service. I enjoy finding the perfect blend of font, color, and image to compliment an event.
A short time ago, I decided it was time to step down. An issue arose that I decided wasn’t worth battling. It was soon after stepping down that I watched my fellow church member be recognized in front of the church for his work.
Like I said, I was jealous! BUT I had to stop myself in that moment. Tell myself to be still. To KNOCK IT OFF. I had to remind myself that I had never served for recognition but only to help church staff communicate at their best. To practice “excellence”, as my church puts it.
We are constantly “jockeying for position”, as Jared C. Wilson writes. That moment, in the church service, was a reminder to myself about the importance of taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). The devil prowls hearts and minds, even in a worship space.
As a kid, there was a song that I listened to that went something like this:
If you want to be great, in God’s kingdom, you have to be a servant of all.
I am thankful to follow a God who continues to lead me onward, upward, and away from my stinky self.