Thursday, March 08, 2007

Humble Pie Sundays

Eight years ago a man in our church shared a sermon and I still remember one sentence. The gist of it, anyway. He said, "The love of God is real in your life when you can pray for God to promote others instead of yourself--and mean it."

Okay, so when you first hear something like that you might think, "Oh, I'm there already." Then you're sitting on that hard bench, remembering how the week before your friend, Kris, was promoted at her tax preparation job and you were thrilled for her. Honestly, without one iota spot of jealousy, you were thrilled for her happy, happy soul.

Then it comes to you. "Of course, I, personally, would detest being a tax preparer (having to bribe myself twice a month to sit down and pay my own bills). I'd (seriously) rather have a job where I sat on a block of ice and poked pencils in my eyes for a living. You know, maybe even something like babysitting."

But alas! (And here's where you squirm on that hard bench.) It comes to you, "But what if Kris had a blog like I do and got 2,500 visits everyday and 325 comments after every post and what if she received a yummy book deal offer for her blog along with a nice, big fat advance? What then? Just how thrilled would I be for her then??"

And later in the day is when your friends from church sit at their dinner tables and wonder over their fried chicken why they saw you slink out of church after the service, with a deflated look on your face while you practically dragged it along the floor and out to your car.

... and I would guess that it might be best for us all to walk out of church weekly, deflated, empty of the pride we walked in with. Those have, afterward (long, long afterward, usually) turned out to be my favorite Sundays.

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