Today’s Reading: Mark 9:30-10:12 (additional reading: Psalm 44:1-8 & Proverbs 10:19)
Children are born dreamers. You can watch them act out their dreams when they play and pretend. With a few plastic army men they wage earth-shaking battles; with a baby doll they practice being gentle, caring mothers. The sky is the limit in who they can be, or what they can do. Adults will sometimes ask a child to pinpoint their dreams for the future when they ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The response runs something like this: When I get big, I want to be …a policeman…a nurse…a soldier…a mommy…a cowboy…an astronaut…a singer…a basketball player… King!”
Wouldn’t it be interesting to flashback to your childhood days and recount what you dreamed of being “when you get big.” You might still be dreaming of what you will be when you get big- when you get enough money, or get the rights breaks, or finish your education, or whenever you finally “arrive”. You might think of it this way: When I get big…I want to get married…I want to get my driver’s license…I want to live out on my own…I want a higher paying job… I want to have kids… I want to own a Mercedes…I want to make a million dollars…I want to own my own home… I want to be my own boss…I want to retire and enjoy life.” You fill in the blank. “When I get big, I want to…”
There is nothing wrong with dreaming, even after you become an adult. God gives you some dreams to spur you on to become what He wants us to be. But when you dream, Jesus tells us that if you really want to dream big, then you’ve got to think small. One of the highest priorities in Jesus’ teaching is that even as you mature, you still need to keep a childlike heart that is willing to learn from Him, serve one another, and be at peace with one another. You could say Jesus wants you to be able to say with all of your heart, “When I get big, I want to be little.”
It’s sad to read in today’s text that as Jesus speaks about His humiliation, His followers are jockeying for the pole position in Heaven. They have been talking during class, so they have no idea what the Teacher has been saying. So Jesus again straightens out their thinking by saying: If you want to be biggest you have to become small enough to serve.
The greatest people in the world are those who are small enough to serve those who everyone else forgets. You might know someone right now who is not very outgoing, or significant in the eyes of the world, but who needs someone to help them in some small way. If you want to be big before God, find a way to serve them. Find a way to give to those who cannot give back. When you get big, you will be small enough to serve others.