“Share to me. Papa, share to me. Please!”
In our efforts to instill the good value of sharing with others into our boy, my wife and I are finding humor in the twist and turn that his reasoning has journey towards. Other than the fact that his grammar is wrong, my little 3-year-old has managed to reshape what it means to “share”. Rather than going around sharing things (i.e. his toys, his games, his food…well…food is a different story, given he hates the thought of eating), the young chap goes around asking people to share their things (i.e. their toys, their games, their food…well…food is a different story, given he hates the thought of eating) with him.
He’s even known to put down his Toy Story 3 Lego blocks to hound the next kid for his exact Toy Story 3 Lego blocks.
I love the little dude, but I can’t help but think about his selfishness and its freakishly weird parallel to the paradigm that is human vanity.
Daniel 4 narrarates the acknowledgment of Nebuchadnezzar’s selfishness and vanity, as well as his turn from prosperity into the humbling hands of God. I guess typical of kings, but this ruler had a gigantic statue errected in his honor and forced people to worship it whenever his band would play their ditty. Those who chose not to bow down to the golden mountain were ordered to the furnace.
What strikes me most about this recount is where Nebuchadnezzar came from. Sure, God did His thing at humbling the selfish man and restored him to sanity. That, alone, is worth blogging about. But I can’t side step the fact the we’re no different than the king’s former life. What’s even more disturbing is the American church and, perhaps, the church at large is no different. We think about ourselves first and how we can get ours. We wonder how we can rise up the ranks at our jobs, so we can get those fat raises. Our churches constantly brainstorm the best tactics at filling the pews, rather than filling the streets with love and compassion. We contemplate ways to improve our looks and dress code, rather than embracing our neighbors and finding out what their needs are. Sunday mornings are about tightening up the sound quality of the music, rather than sharing the beautiful melodic Gospels to the communities who have been deafened to the beautiful melodic Gospels by said church.
The irony is: I’m a part of all that.
It kills me that I am a part of all that. I’m paralyzed just thinking that I’m as selfish as the next person. My breath holds still for moments on end just thinking that I’m a pastor who is concerned about the sound quality of music during our Sunday morning services.
For Nebuchadnezzar, God had to take everything away from him in order for him to come to his senses. I hope and pray that my destiny doesn’t follow the king’s demise.
Here’s to a good kick in the butt.
One thought on “Me..Me…Me!!!”
I love it how your words describe the level of intensity. I feel that this needs to be looked at chunks rather than a whole. First let’s talk about the king’s former life. Isn’t it scary to realize that we are somewhat like the king. Yes, we don’t have statues erected in honor of us nor do we have a band playing for us. But I would say, when human vanity clogs the mind we become oblivious and vulnerable to what the world expects you should do: get all you can and do much as you can, it’s up to you, you are what you eat, don’t let them walk all over you; what’s the underlying statement…that “me” is life is all about and everyone should respect my authority?
Apple Dictionary defines vanity as “excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.” I say pride and admiration is the result of pity upon the individual’s selfish desires. The cautious thought about it is we are able to fall into this trap without knowing it.
Next you talk about the American church and let’s say church-goers wanting to get what they can in life – everywhere. What ever happen to the days of people showing up to events because they wanted to and they cared? It’s almost as if people are held to accountability, an expectation, and obligation to show up. Even so, you still have to put food on the table for them to even consider showing up! It’s a tactic that encircles the individual or group…think about it. When you want to get something out of someone or information, what do you derive? A tactic. Shopping in department stores or even a car dealership, what’s the method of attack…..a tactic! War, a platoon want to defeat to enemy….what do you….come up with a tactic….and usually it’s just one person that has the ill intention to defeat with maximum intention.
All in all, I agree with you on the irony. In some areas, I’m a part of the diversion that distance the individual of what their purpose should be and what the church’s purpose is. When God takes away from us (because of our pride) we are fortunate. I’m learning to listen more and rely closely on God’s word. Remember when we went through that series of Monday Morning Church? I brought that book with me because I wanted to know what it really meant to be out in the streets from the sanctuary. Thus far, I never realized how many spiritual blessing we already have and what we have inherited from God. This book is helping me to dissect Ephesians (or how to dissect and internalize God’s word) and how to really study in solitude.
The wise man will humble themselves (or become childlike) before God, while the fool of the world leads themselves to destruction.