Monday, September 20, 2010

A pat on the back

Today begins premier week for all our favorite shows! I’m embarrassed to say it has been a long summer without all my favorite shows to watch. Hey, we live 20 miles from town in the middle of west Texas with two children under the age of five. What are we supposed to do with all our time? Don’t answer that! Of course the summer has not been a complete waste. Most nights Kacee and I would watch an episode or two of MASH. What a wonderful show. I have so many wonderful memories of MASH. When I was young I still remember the intro music being my cue to head to bed! Then when I was in college, 10:30 p.m. was when Glen Allen and I took our study break each night. Like a contestant on Survivor I took all 10 seasons with me when we moved to Romania. You laugh, but Hawkeye got me through many long days and nights!

Last night we threw in one more episode to mark the end of summer. As fate would have it, this was one of my favorites. During this episode entitled “Blood Brothers” Father Mulcahy gives the following sermon:

“I want to tell you about two men. Each facing his own crisis. The first man you know rather well. The second is a patient here. Well, the first man thought he was facing a crisis. But what he was really doing was trying to impress someone. He was looking for recognition, encouragement, a pat on the back. And whenever that recognition seemed threatened he reacted rather childishly. Blamed everyone for his problems but himself because he was thinking only of himself. But the second man was confronted with the greatest crisis mortal man can face, the loss of his life. I think you will agree that the second man had every right to be selfish. But instead he chose to think not of himself, but of a brother. A brother! When the first man saw the dignity and the selflessness of the second man, he realized how petty and selfish he had...I....I...I had been. It made me see something more clearly than I've ever seen it before. God didn't put us here for that pat on the back. He created us so he could be here himself. So he could exist in the lives of those he created, in his image."

Oh how often we (I) get caught up in the complexity of life and how it effects us (me). I’m ashamed to say that more times than not I live my life for myself rather than for God. Even when I’m serving God I often find myself doing it for selfish reasons. I’m reminded of two verses in the first book of Peter.

“…All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5: 5-6.

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4: 10.

I hope you will join me today in making a better effort to use His gifts for His glory rather than the pursuit of a pat on the back. After all, He did “create us so he could be here himself.” Aspire to new heights.

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