Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dear Me

I few weeks ago I came across a verse in Luke that struck out at me. I’m sure it’s not the first time I’ve read that verse but it’s certainly the first time it made my mouth drop open.

“And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” Mark 7:37

The part that made my mouth drop open? He has done all things well.

I felt like a cover had suddenly been pulled off the part of my heart that I’ve been keeping very hush-hush. You see, those words were so familiar - so horribly familiar - because they were almost the same as my own.

She has done all things well.

Secretly, that’s what I most want to hear. Those exact words. I just don’t think I knew it till that moment. Like a mirror suddenly casting back a very ugly reflection.

I want to be the gal that everyone says ‘does all things well’. Now, if you know me in person, you most certainly recognise immediately that this is both an outrageous presumption and a complete impossibility. I am so very far from reaching the heights of perfect competency. But that doesn’t stop my self-centred heart from lusting after it.

I’d like my guests to leave my house saying, “Oh, what a great job she did organizing that dinner.” I’d like my employer to say, “Yes, she’s really one of our best teachers.” I’d like the other mothers to say, “Wow. Her kids are so organized and progressing so well. Her behaviour strategies are so clever.” And on and on and on... Not that any of that stuff is really happening, but it is my secret desire. Of course the things I know I’ll never do well in I just relegate to the Not Important Enough To Worry About pile. Like sport and parallel parking.

But when I read those words in Mark 7, I realized they belong to Jesus. To him alone. He is the one whose life people looked at and said, “Wow. He does all things well.” When I hanker after that phrase, I’m hankering after something that doesn’t belong to me. I’m not that someone. But I do owe that someone everything. Seeking after honour that is due to him alone is really brazen rebellion.

Of course Jesus wasn’t being commended for a fabulous dinner party or a set of well-organized school lunches. So why do I particularly wish to be lauded in those areas? Because even though I like to think myself the bees-knees, I’m not stupid enough to think I could really compete with Jesus. So like I do with parallel parking, I just change the goal posts. I change “do all things well” to “do stuff that impresses other people”. I want people to notice. I want to be praised. I want to be the person who does all things well.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to strive for competency or excellence. I’m all for doing things well. However, if I’m trying to do all things well so I can gain the praise of those around me, I’m barking up the wrong tree. Instead, I want to look at the one who truly did all things well and strive to spread the fame of his name not mine.

So for the next time I forget that, I’m writing this post to remind me. He does all things well. Stop with your own ridiculous self-obsession and be “astonished beyond measure” at all that he’s done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are so me! Thank you for this post - a sobering reminder! J