So there I was, trying to be all humble and servant-like, because that’s what we Christians do, right?
I had decided to clean the house top to bottom with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, despite the fact that I’ve hardly been around lately and none of the mess was actually mine.
But since I’d hardly been around because I was performing my charitable Christian duty in another venue, I figured I might as well carry it over to my own family. I’d serve them without complaint, and bless them with a sparkling clean home that could rival something from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens. Yes, that’s what I’d do.
I walked from room to room and surveyed the damage, the likes of which I’ve not seen since I survived Hurricane Alicia in the early ‘80s. If you’re old enough to remember Hurricane Alicia, please keep reading. If you’re not, please move to another article right away, as your presence here is depressing me.
Taking mental notes of what I’d need to clean each room, I pushed back the thoughts of, Dear Lord, why is a dried popsicle wrapper stuck to the bottom of the upper bunk bed and why on earth would someone attach a bungee cord to the antlers of a dead deer hanging on the wall?
Soon all thoughts of humility and servanthood were replaced with feelings of haughty indignation and a mad dash for the Google search engine to find a boot camp that would accept two minor children, posthaste.
That’s not to say I didn’t have a right to be outraged at my children’s lack of consideration and cleanliness. Of course I had a right. I had a right to hand them each a toothbrush and a pail of warm soapy water and tell them to get to work, which by the way, I did.
But even as I found some satisfaction from the scathing lecture I gave them as they scrubbed dried yogurt off the kitchen floor, I realized something about myself.
I’m actually pretty good at being a religious person.
Being an actual Christian? Not so much.
After all, being a Christ-follower means being an imitator of Christ. And being an imitator of Christ means giving up my rights to be angry when others act poorly. It means giving up my rights to retaliate when given the opportunity.
It means responding to ill treatment with love and humility, not anger and harsh words.
Yeah … I’ve got ways to go with the whole being-like-Christ thing.
In the meantime, though, I suppose I need to wrap up this article, though sitting here drinking coffee and talking to you, dear reader, is much more pleasant than the daunting mound of housework which awaits me. Prayers are appreciated. If you don’t hear back from me by next week, please send the National Guard.
Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve … —Mark 10:43-45.