Monday, April 23, 2007

God must be ~impressed~ with me...


Here's a joke that I'll be using in my next article for my church. I received it as a bulletin from one of my MySpace friends, who happens to be a drummer...

The band leader asks the drummer, "Can you play a samba pattern with your bass drum?"

The drummer obliges with a boom...b-boom samba pattern.

The leader then asks "can you add a Mozambique cowbell pattern along with that with your right hand?"

The drummer thinks, "No problem," and obliges with his best effort.

He is then told, "Now add a 2-3 clave with your left foot on the hi-hat.”

He struggles a bit but gets it happening.

Next he hears, "Now add a cascara pattern on the snare with your left hand."

Years of studying polyrhythms, practicing independence, and listening to world music finally come to fruition and the relieved drummer finds he can easily play the whole pattern.

Pleased with himself, he asks the band leader, "So, do I get the job?”

"No," says the band leader "that's why we fired the last guy!"


This is a reminder to me that God's not impressed with my accomplishments. It's like when Martha was busy running all around in an effort to serve her house guest, Jesus, and even complained when her sister Mary didn't come help her, but instead "sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said." I mean, what a crime, Mary! Martha's busy over there banging out all these wonderful drum patterns, and you're just sitting there listening to Jesus! Get with the program, Mary!

But Jesus saw it differently. Martha is actually the one with the problem, and Luke describes the problem by saying that she was "distracted with much serving" (Luke 10:40). Martha was busy serving Jesus, but Mary was the one who was actually doing what Jesus wanted her to do!

This story doesn't make a lot of sense to the busy, performance-oriented Christian. But just look into the very life of Jesus the man, who said, "the words that I speak to you, I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does the works." Rather than being "distracted with much serving," Jesus spent time at His Father's feet, listening to what He said. Imagine if Jesus had been busy with a lot of serving, waking up each morning and seeing 10,000 things that needed to be done in this world, and setting of to serve His Father by accomplishing as much as He could. I'm not so sure the cross would have fit into His schedule, because He would have insisted on staying on earth so He could have accomplished so much more.

But His service came not from a focus on performing for His Father. It came from a focus on His Father. There's a huge difference! In the same way, how many of us need to stop and consider if we're letting ourselves get distracted with much serving? Are we really focused on knowing a Person, or are we focused on our performance for that Person? Are we focused on keeping our various "ministries" and "agendas" afloat (for the sake of Jesus, of course), or are we truly spending time at the feet of Jesus, listening to what He has to say?

Can you imaging living with renewed strength, and soaring through the sky like an eagle? Can you imagine running and not getting tired??? Walking and not becoming weary? Can you grasp serving the Lord from this constant state of rest? This is the life for "those who wait on the Lord" (Isaiah 40:31).

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