"Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Today marks the unofficial start of Spring - the 2013 NASCAR season!
43 cars will roll out onto world-renown Daytona International Speedway for the prestigious Daytona 500 race. 42 of those cars will line up on the starting grid behind a girl for the first time in history. Danica Patrick will sit on the pole when the green flag drops.
Starting in first place is very important and impressive. But if you were to ask each of the 43 drivers where they want to finish at the end of the race they would say, "First place!"
Race car drivers race for one purpose - to win! Second place is just the first loser!
I think Jesus was being a little facetious when He made the statement, "IF anyone anyone wants to be first". EVERYONE wants to be first! Jesus knew that everyone of us is wired for self-promotion. We want the best for ourselves and we want to be at the head of the line.
So, the disciples were arguing over which of them was the greatest among them. I am going to venture a wild guess and say that they weren't nominating each other for greatness. When Jesus got wind of their jostling for position He called then together and then He "sat down".
In the Hebrew culture, when a Rabbi sat down, something significant was about to happen! What happened was they got confronted about their selfish ambitions. Wanting to be first would require them to be willing to settle for last.
So the question arises, "How do I get from wanting to be first to being willing to be last?"
Let me share four ways that are inferred in His "sitting down" speech:
First: Wake Up
Recognize and repudiate your self-centered ambitions.
Wake up calls often come in the form of broken or strained relationships with a significant person in your life.
Second: Become Interested In Others
Here is an acrostic that might help:
Take an interest in another
Hear their hearts and words
Empathize with their concerns
Meet their needs as able
Third: Become A Servant
You can take an interest in people BUT still not truly be a servant.
How is that PB?
When we take an interest in others – WE ARE STILL IN CHARGE and WE DECIDE how our help is appreciated or effective. BUT when we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge. We make ourselves vulnerable. We do small things behind the scenes with nothing to gain for ourselves.
Four: Lift Other's Burdens
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” MT. 16:24
There is no time when we are more like the Trinity than when we carry each other’s burdens and enter their lives. We absorb their flaws and failures and still stand with them. We stand in the gap for each other, we pray for each other’s kids like they were our own, and we lose sleep over other’s needs as we would our own.
THE JOURNEY FROM “ME TO WE” IS HARD!
IT HAPPENS IN STAGES AND EACH STAGE IS HARD!
“ME TO WE” GOES AGAINST OUR NATURE. IT IS SWIMMING AGAINST THE CURRENT. IT IS LIKE FINGERNAILS ON A CHALK BOARD. IT IS A SOULSHIFT!
What are you going to do about it?