I would quit writing…but I’m no quitter. Some habits die hard. Writing offers perspective and helps me personally untangle the intricate—often sticky—web of details we call “life”! Upcoming is a brag session…hopefully done in “grace” if that is possible. (JUST FOREWARNING YOU.)
Sometimes we wonder whether the lessons we teach our kids really impact them. Sometimes it feels like words go in one ear and out the other. And other times, even worse though, the dreaded “dear-in-the-headlights-look” often says, “I don’t speak that language”. Yet sometimes—surely through divine providence—there is a breakthrough! Ever hear the old adage: “Most lessons are better caught than taught”? It’s true.
Being a typical kid/boy, my son has the “competitive” things down—especially when it comes to food. (Good grief the kid can eat!) I casually reprimanded him one day and moved him to the end of a potluck waiting line. That’s when the words rolled off my tongue “go last in line—so you can be first.” I swear his head fell into a canted position much like my dog when he hears a high pitch screech! “Huh?”
His disbelief came from the removal of his “fair-positon” rather than the actual words themselves. But he understood it months later when he said “Hey, dad. Did you see what I did? I’m going last!” You know what? It stuck with him once I had explained it.
The concept—the words—come from Jesus for those who are concerned about being treated justly: Matthew 19:30 “But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” It doesn’t mean we endeavor to be losers in everything, it just means we are to prefer/esteem someone as more important that ourselves! The game of “who can be the greatest victim” in this society makes me want to gag. What ever happened to honor, chivalry, noble conduct, courage, integrity, grit, and determination?! Those concepts are dying a slow death daily—even demonized…. So, resurrect them. Be demonized for doing good. The ball is really in our court!
I’ll leave you with this: America and her communities need people who put themselves last and serve the public out of sacrifice. It is who true Americans are/supposed to be: RESPONSIBLE, UPRIGHT, and SACRIFICIAL to their own hurt. (Did I just describe the Christian too?) Yes, Christians make the best Americans, let me tell you why from something I penned between tasks at work today: “Self-preservation is incompatible with freedom. Self-sacrifice and love for others is what gives freedom power and resolute success! This is why freedom can only exist among a majority of moral and religious people—those people who have compass through God-given directives; by the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God…. To abandon God’s ways is to abandon freedom; to prefer chains instead.”
In the Bible, this is referred to as “dying to self”. Often, the things that help others—removing ourselves from comfort or convenience for their sake—is often the right move to make! So, when you stand in that line for a picnic, a ride at the fair, or a family gathering for Independence Day—remember the “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” of American patriots who denied themselves conveniences and comforts for the sake of their era–to give to you. Let’s not let the buck stop with this generation…. Like my son, the Christian should be able to say to God, “Dad, did you see that? I’m going last!”