MMP: Queen or the Servant?

July 9, 2017
Note: Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. This week’s post comes from Ellen Lewis.


MESSAGE: 
Who Is The Greatest?
PASSAGE: Luke 22:24-32

 

As I took my seat at church and glanced at the newsletter, I literally laughed when I saw the title of Sunday’s sermon, knowing that I had been asked to contribute to Monday Morning Pastor this day—“Who is the Greatest?” with the first word in the description being “competition.” I’m no stranger to competition. Growing up, my friend, Emily, was intimidated to even play games with me knowing that I was going to go all out. In high school, I took competition to an extreme level. When running for the position of president of the National Honor Society, I actually managed to convince one of the other candidates to drop out of the race after showing her how we would have split the votes if she ran too, allowing a third person to win. Then I competed academically, becoming the valedictorian, all the while viewing this goal in terms of “winning a game.” So yea…I’m kind of competitive.

I’m now 29 years old. And guess what? No one cares that I was the president of the National Honor Society, or that I was the valedictorian of my high school, or that I beat Emily in Catch Phrase. And while I still have a competitive streak that I actually find fun, today’s sermon was a good reminder to reevaluate and understand that these things aren’t fulfilling—not in the eternal way that God wants us to be fulfilled in Him. Why? Because, as Pastor Mark pointed out, God wants us to be great through serving.

Even today, there is constant pressure to be the “greatest” in different aspects of my life. I’m a novelist—I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve written to agents and publishers, trying to get my work published. And I also can’t tell you how many rejections I’ve received, things literally written on tiny pieces of paper that essentially told me my work wasn’t good enough. And while I now have a wonderful publisher, I still always want to be better and better, always looking to write the “next great novel.” No wonder I sometimes find myself frustrated and desiring to be more fulfilled in my work! My competitive nature can easily set me up for failure! Because while I firmly believe God called me to write, I need to look at my career and its meaning through the eyes of God.

And even being a mother feels like a competition sometimes. How many of us look on Facebook and go, “Wow. So-and-so did something really fun with their kids. Well now I feel inadequate. I’ll have to make sure I post pictures of the next fun thing we do.”

Yes, Pastor Mark was right when he talked about the pressure to fit into society, which then drives us to partake in this competitive, earth-focused lifestyle.

My husband and I often read our daughter (and our son for that matter) a book at bedtime—The True Princess. It’s about how the princess was recognized by her father after a period of separation because of her love for him and her desire to serve him. Am I doing that? Today’s sermon was a good reminder that that should be the driving force behind my daily interactions and my long-term goals.

Yesterday, I was playing “princess and prince” with my kids. I asked Princess Stellie what she wanted me to be while we played—the queen or the servant. At first, she promptly replied “the queen.” But then she quickly changed her mind—“Wait, no. The servant. You’re really good at that, Mommy.” It’s my prayer that I strive for that kind of recognition in all aspects of my life.

 

Listen to full sermon here