I need to tell you something about myself. I’m pretty smart. You are excused if you don’t see my intelligence, but deep down inside I really know what is going on. I’ve already ‘figured out’ most of the people I know. I have a great handle on scripture and what it really means. I can see the arc of history and I am confident as to where it is going. I’m not only the expert for seeing what is best for my life, I could probably tell you what is best for your life as well.
For those of you who know me, you are excused if you can’t see my intelligence. After all, I am smart enough to hide it under a blanket of perfect humility.
The problems for me start with that pestering voice of reality. In spite of ‘knowing’ what is best for the congregations I serve and in spite of the fact that I am confident my strategy will succeed, I’m left with that annoying truth that myself, my family, my friends and my congregation are not behaving the way I have already figured out they should behave.
The stocks I’ve picked have not made me rich. In fact for some inexplicable reason some of them are worthless. My family has the nerve to continue to surprise me with their own plans, lives and decisions that I never saw coming. The amazing congregation I am privileged to serve has not prospered and grown in spite of my brilliant leadership.
For some reason reality and the many loving people around me are blind to my brilliance.
Jesus may be the good shepherd and I may be one of his sheep, but Jesus is in for a surprise, I am smarter than the shepherd! Sure he may have preached a little message called the “Sermon on the mount” but has he seen my blog count? On one occasion almost 100 people read what I had written.
When I read the scriptures and I hear Jesus telling the rich man that he lacks one thing, “Go and sell all you have and give it to the poor.” I am comforted by the fact that Jesus certainly didn’t mean me. I’m too smart to let my own wealth get in my way. When Jesus tells his disciples, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” I am smart enough to know that servanthood is the true mark of a Christian. I’m just confounded that the world can’t see how servant minded I am.
Jesus compares Christians to sheep. People who know more about sheep then I do tell me that they are not the brightest of the animal kingdom. Their response to predators is to flock together. In fact, separate from the flock they have a hard time surviving.
Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep. That one lonesome animal who has decided they are smarter than the flock and have made their own way into the wilderness. That sheep is lost and probably unable to survive on its own until the shepherd can find him.
I may be really smart, but I can’t wait for Jesus to find me and bring me back to the flock so that I can tell all the other sheep how I was never really lost.
Be at peace,
The best is yet to be,