Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Monday, March 5, 2012

Are you a lead dog?


"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

I read this scripture this morning and remembered this sermon I was study of Leonard Sweet. He has a great story on not stepping on others in order to make a difference. That are many times we strive and work, even in the Christian Kingdom, in order to save our own pride and seek to advance our own desires. The following is a great story that causes us to think

The world of sled dog racing is famous for a truism: "If you aren't the lead dog, the scenery never changes."

In other words, only the lead dog gets to see what is up ahead. Only the lead dog gets to sniff out new possibilities, gets to choose a new path. For the rest of the pack, there is nothing but a view of bushy backsides. No wonder in life we are all constantly striving to be "lead dogs."

Across the political spectrum, there is one common refrain. As the 2012 political races heat up every candidate, Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal or libertarian, encourages their audiences with calls for America to reclaim her leadership status — in manufacturing, technology, production, influence, economic growth. Whatever the topic, it is being "in the lead position" that is the most important point.

We all want to be "large and in charge." Who doesn't want to chart our own destiny? Who doesn't want to choose our life pathway? Who doesn't want to decide for oneself? The problem for Christians is that Jesus had a rather startling response to that kind of an attitude: "Get behind me, Satan!"

Jesus' harsh "rebuke" of Peter ("rebuke" here is a word used in demonic exorcisms) doesn't sound so bad when it is directed at a dimwit disciple who had the audacity to try and tell Jesus he was wrong. It is another thing to have Jesus' words directed at each one of us, reminding twenty-first century disciples that none of us are "lead dogs," that none of us get to be "large and in charge."

Jesus' disciples are reminded by today's gospel text to "know our place." And where is our "place?"...

I know my place and I am grateful for the opportunity and the honor to serve. You know I love Ya....and keep serving! Don

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