June 22, 2020

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Devotion for the Week...

We've taken to playing MarioKart8 as a family most evenings. It's always good for a laugh. My husband yells out "Banana!" whenever he runs into one and the boys love mixing the craziest looking characters with the most unlikely vehicles. As for me, I'm consistently bad at it. If there's a place to fall off the road, I will fall off. Where there are railings to keep you from falling off, I will careen back and forth from one side to the other, banging into the railings. Though only four people can play at a time, the computer fills in with other characters so there are always 12 racers and I am rarely in the top 6. It's a good thing real driver's licenses are not handed out according to your driving record on MarioKart!

At the end of each race, when your character crosses the finish line, the computer takes over control and the character continues to drive along the racecourse. If they finished in the top 6, they wave or thump their chest or pump their fists in celebration. If they finished in the bottom 6, they hang their head in shame or beat on the handlebars of their bike. In the case of Peach, the character I usually play as, she covers her face with her hands and says a rather pathetic, "Oh, no!"

In our races and competitions, we're always trying to be number one. Are we trying to do that in our lives, too? The Bible tells us that being first shouldn't be our life's goal. Jesus and His disciples were walking along the road one day and He could hear that the disciples were arguing. When they were relaxing in the house later that evening, "Jesus asked his disciples, 'What were you discussing out on the road?' But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest" (Mark 9:33, 34). Doesn't that sound exactly like something that would happen today? Maybe it wouldn't be quite so explicit, but people today are still prone to argue over who should get the most credit for an idea or for a project, or who said something first or who won the most awards back in 6th grade...We really love to call attention to all of the ways we are great.

Of course, Jesus knew what their discussion had been about, so "He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, 'Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.'" (v. 35). 

Jesus' teaching that we must be the servant of everyone else goes deeper than just doing things for other people. It's looking into the heart and attitude behind those actions, too. Are we doing things for others grudgingly and because we feel like we have to do it? Are we serving because it's expected of a 'good Christian' and to not help out in some way would make us look bad? Serving others like that is nothing more than serving ourselves and trying to make ourselves look better. It's not 'being the servant of everyone else.'

On the other hand, if we are serving out of love for the other people and a genuine desire to make their lives better or easier in some way, then we are being a servant. In Philippians 2:4, Paul wrote, "Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." Serving others because we have to isn't the same as taking an interest in them. Taking an interest means care and compassion. It means setting ourselves aside so that we can focus on someone else and it means a willingness to let go of the pursuit of being 'the greatest' and to accept being in last place.
Are we pushing and racing, trying to be first in everything | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is You're a Star
It's time to take a good look at ourselves. Are we pushing and racing, trying to be first in everything? Or are we looking around to see who might need help or care, then taking the time to meet those needs?

1 comment:

  1. I have been Princess Peach in the past and have held my head in shame. Good thing it's not related to real driver's licenses. ha ha ha Sounds like you have been having great family time.

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