“‘Look, Daddy! What’s that?’
I stopped talking with my neighbor and looked down.
‘A beetle,’ I said.
David was impressed and pleased with the discovery of this fancy, colorful creature.
My neighbor lifted his foot and stepped on the insect, giving it an extra twist into the dirt.
‘That ought to do it,’ he laughed.
David looked up at me, waiting for an explanation, a reason. I did not wish to embarrass my neighbor, but then David turned, picked up the hose, and continued spraying the raspberries.
That night, just before he turned off the lights in his bedroom, David whispered. ‘I like’d that beetle, Daddy.’
‘I did too,’ I whispered back.
“I used to think the spiritual life was mostly about finding and using our gifts for God’s glory…. More and more I think it is not this, not first, not most. At root, the spiritual life consists in choosing the way of littleness. I become less so that Jesus might become greater. Its essence is No–No to ourselves, our impulses and cravings, our acts of self-promotion and self-vindication, our use of power for its own sake. It calls us to deny ourselves possessions, rights, conquests that we’re temped to claim just because we can. It is growing, day by day, into the same attitude that Christ had, and by exactly the same means: emptying ourselves, giving ourselves. It is refusing to grasp what we think is owed us and instead embracing what we think is beneath us. Simply behold, in love and wonder, what you have strength to crush. Exercise power–power you might use otherwise–to serve, bless, protect.” Mark Buchanan
“It will be good for those servants
whose master finds them watching when he comes.
… he will dress himself to serve,
will have them recline at the table
and will come and wait on them.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Choosing “the way of littleness” is usually counter-cultural. Is this something you aspire to do?
- The phrase “growing day by day” reminds us that spiritual growth is a slow process. What can you do daily to practice “emptying and giving” yourself?
- Do you think of yourself as having “strength to crush” others? Think about your relationships with this in mind.
Abba, I want to serve, bless, and protect, not harm. Remind me when I go astray.
For More: The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”