Spiritual Musings from an Educated Redneck

An inside look of the mind of Pirate Pops

Archive for the tag “Service”

A BUG IN THE WATER

Our precious granddaughter, June Bug (who is our world), takes swimming lessons. She has been taking lessons since she was less than a year old.  She is now nearly two.  Usually there is a class of five or six children.  Some of them take to it quickly and some of them cry the entire time they are in the water with their parent and the swim instructor.

As you observe the class you quickly realize that some of the children would do fine if  none of the other children would cry.  When they see another one begin to wail they figure, “I guess I’m supposed to be crying,” so off they go to join the chorus.

June responds to the criers a little differently.  Today (of this writing) the class only had June and one other child.  They were in their motorboats (a styrofoam thingy bent into a horseshoe shape) that they drape their arms over and paddle with their legs.  Thus, they “motor-boat.”

June was having a great time motor-boating when the other child began to cry.  She sized up the situation and motor-boated over to the other child to bring encouragement and comfort.  First, she tried to give her fellow motor-boater the plastic star-fish that she was carrying.  That didn’t help.  Next she patted the other child on the shoulder in a comforting manner.  That didn’t help.  After a short time of making these attempts to bring the child into the joy of the experience, June eventually turned around and motor-boated back to her place and continued with the fun! It’s as if she was saying, “Hey I want to help you.  I want to encourage you to enjoy the water with me!  But if you don’t want to, if you would rather be miserable, then knock yourself out!   I’m not going to let you ruin the experience for me!”  Without even knowing it June Bug was demonstrating a valuable spiritual and personal truth.  The difference between Co-dependence and Christ-dependence

We are called to render aid (Good Samaritan), bear one another’s burdens, encourage one another, serve one another etc.  We are also called to draw our sense of worth, value, and meaning, not from the service we render to others, but from the Savior we serve.  Not from the response of others but from our relationship with Christ. That is the difference between being Co-dependent (where you need the approval, praise, and acceptance of others), which is dysfunctional and defeating, and being Christ-dependent (getting all of those needs met by Him) which is fulfilling and freeing.

The problem is being enough in touch with your own motives and mis-steps to recognize the difference.  Here are few diagnostic questions you can ask yourself in order to find out whether you are Co-dependent or Christ-dependent.

When you serve others:

1.  Are you doing it for yourself, or for Christ?

2.  Are you serving the person or serving Christ by serving the person?

3.  Are you interested in the praise of the person or the praise of Christ?

4.  Does your joy depend upon getting a positive response from the person?

5.  Can you motor-boat back and enjoy your experience even when others don’t respond positively to you?

So the next time someone around you begins to wail away take a lesson from a “Bug in the Water.”  Offer help to others but don’t obsess over their response.  Learn when to serve and when to separate.

Be Christ-Dependent not Co-Dependent

To Hike Or Not to Hike (A Leg That Is)

 [Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet] Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.  John 13:5

Recently, my son Zack was playing in a golf tournament and his wife Ashley traveled with him.  So, I took care of their dogs.  Three or four times a day I went by to let them out to exercise, eat, and do their business.  These two dogs couldn’t be more different.  Jango is a 145 lb. Great Dane.  He’s a gentle giant. When he walks up to me his head is as high as my chest.  Linus is a…..well we aren’t sure.  He’s a mixture of who knows what, but it all adds up to about 8 lbs. and maybe 10 inches of height.  We call Linus the escape artist dog because he can always find a way to get out of the backyard.  Then it’s off to search the neighborhood for him, or it’s a neighbor knocking on the door bringing him home from wandering the streets.

So, one afternoon I went by to let them out in the backyard.  I stood at the door and watched as Jango, the Dane, hiked a leg and did his business.  That’s good because he’s big as a horse and it wouldn’t be pretty if he did it inside!   Then little Linus did what dogs do.  He went over and hiked his leg over where Jango had gone and he did his business!  It was as if to say, “You may be bigger than me but I’ve still got something to say!”  Jango was watching these goings on and obviously wasn’t very pleased.  So then Jango walked over, hiked his leg over the top of Linus, and peed all over him!

That was it!  Game, Set, Match!  For two reasons really. One was, by this time both of them were out of ammunition.  But the real reason was,  “How could Linus top that?”  He couldn’t.  Now I had a mess.  Linus obviously had to be washed off before he could come back into the house.  So I gave him a quick bath beneath the water hydrant.  When I had finished that task I had time to ask myself, “Why would Jango hike his leg and pee all over little Linus?”  The answer was simple when it came to me.  Because He could!  He’s bigger, taller, and Linus couldn’t do anything about it.  He did it simply because he could.

Isn’t it interesting, that kind of behavior isn’t only the way of dogs, it’s the way of people?  Jesus often caught the disciples arguing over which one of them was going to be the greatest in the Kingdom.  One time the mother of two of them even came to Jesus asking for Him to elevate her sons (James and John) to positions of power!  Mama’s boys……

That precipitated Jesus gathering the disciples around Him and giving them these words, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20: 25-27)

Then on the night Jesus was arrested, and in less than 24 hours was to be crucified on a Cross, He took a towel and washed the disciples feet, thus demonstrating what He had told them.  In so doing Jesus was saying, “Greatness isn’t demonstrated by peeing on someone’s head (even if you can) but in washing their feet.”

Think about that the next time you are tempted to “hike a leg” over someone else.

We have a million ways by which we pee on people’s heads don’t we?  We ignore them.  We look down upon them because they haven’t achieved our status in material things, education, career, or any number of things.  We just hike our leg and pee all over them.  Why?  Because we can, just like Jango.

So remember, greatness is demonstrated by washing someone’s feet when you have the power to pee on their head.

Post Navigation