… I’m not such a big deal after all.
I’ve been falling into a trap lately. It’s a trap I often fall into called the “I’m More Important than You Seem to Think I Am” trap. I’m sure I’ve blogged about it before because it’s something I wrestle with often. I enjoy being a stay-at-home mom. I enjoy being a homemaker. I enjoy being a pastor’s wife. But there are times when I like to remind the people around me, particularly the little bitty people who like to criticize me for not being nearly as smart as they perceive themselves to be (I’m looking at you, Ana and Emma!), that I’m no idiot. Once upon a time, I was someone important, starting out a career, finishing up a graduate degree, and living a life that made a difference by the world’s standards. Once upon a time, I was somebody important!
And now? Well, now I spend the majority of my time being corrected by a kindergarten student who thinks she already reads better than I do. (Ana to me, “Mommy, that is NOT the sound that an E makes.” Me to Ana, “You know, I’ve been speaking and reading this language a lot longer than you have.”) Surely, I was made for more than this!
James talks about this kind of arrogance, this inclination to focus on our own wills, our own plans, and our own ambitions above and beyond God’s. James 4:13-16 says it like this…
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring — what your life will be! For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
My pride gets insulted (yes, by a five year old), and I fall back to the temptation of making myself important. I go back to trusting in my abilities, my strengths, and my accomplishments, resting in who I am. What God calls us to as followers of Christ, though, is making less of ourselves and making more of Him. And while James talks mainly about the plans that we make and the ambitions we have, I think his statements can also be applied to how we view ourselves, how we prioritize our will over God’s will, and ultimately how we view God.
I like to think that I’m really, really important in the grand scheme of things and that my life plan should follow a course that gets me as much glory, prestige, and praise as possible, but then I read this statement — “For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.”
Well. That certainly puts things into perspective.
In the grand scheme of eternity, Jennifer Faulk is but a bit of smoke, destined to soon vanish. Should my time be spent building myself up, reminding everyone else that I’m someone important by the world’s definition of important, or should my time be spent pointing back to Christ, magnifying HIS importance, and glorifying Him?
As previously discussed, I’m no idiot. I know the answer to that one.