Saturday, March 15, 2008

Me Last!

My almost three-year-old daughter has a habit that, even at her young age, strikes a wrong chord in me. It surfaced again today as we walked up the steps to my mom's house; in the long line of Foster-Whiddons, I was last and Zoe was just in front of me. As we made our way onto the porch, my little girl picked up her pace and told me repeatedly and emphatically, "Me first! Me first! Me first!" In classic parental reverse-psychology, I responded, "Fine! I want to be last! You can't be last! That's my spot!"

My own statement reminded me of a message I heard recently at the Creative Church Conference (C3) at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. Brian Houston, the pastor of Hillsong Church in Australia, delivered a sermon in which he described what it was like to be the pastor of Darlene Zschech, one of the most recognized worship leaders in the world. He illustrated his point by proclaiming that when they go on trips together, people want a picture with Darlene and he is the guy who ends up holding the camera! Pastor Houston's challenge to a building full of ambitious leaders stuck with me - practice being last.

Being last does not come easily to mankind; it definitely is not at the top of my list of personal goals. However, I want to be like Christ, and Philippians 2:5-8 describes how my attitude should look in order to reflect his:

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Oh Jesus, help me learn to be glad to be last. Help me lay down my pride and place others above myself. Let "Me last!" be the cry of my heart!

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