My four-year-old had this habit of shouting, “Me first, me first!” The two-year-old soon followed suit, and I often found myself with two little people dancing around my legs, hands wildly in the air, wrestling one another and chanting, “Me first, me first.”
One day out of the blue, I bent down and told my oldest that Jesus said, “The last will be first, and the first will be last.” He was puzzled, but soon after, I heard a new chant from him, “I want to be last, SO I can be First!” And so this continued for some time, not exactly the lesson I had intended. Weeks went by, and he stayed devoted to the lesson given by Jesus. I overheard him once telling his older cousin, “Jesus said, ‘Whoever is last will be first.’” The cousin quickly responded, “That’s not right.” And honestly, it doesn’t seem right, or fair, or like it would even work out for us in the long run. What we believe as God’s Word can seem contradictory to common sense at times. How could I explain this very complicated lesson to a four-year-old, when I did not always get it or attain it myself?
We check out books from the library regularly. Some that just have cute covers or that the librarian picks for us, always a little random assortment of dogs, dinosaurs and cars. The particular book we were reading before bed was about a fast race-car-driving dog that always came in first place. The dog was in the lead when he saw a pack of chicks crossing the road. He could swerve around them and stay in the lead, but what if the other drivers could not stop and there was an accident? The fast race-car-driving dog stopped and ushered the chicks to safety as he watched the other drivers zoom past. The dog got back in his car and headed toward the finish line. He heard cheers from a distance and assumed they were for the winner, but as he drew closer, he realized the crowd was cheering for him. They saw his good deed and could not wait to welcome him across the finish line for putting others first.
The book was a gift from the Holy Spirit, and I was able to turn to my son and attempt to connect the moral of the story with Jesus’ lesson of serving others. I do not have it all figured out, and I am thankful that as I share God’s story with my children, He is always present and at work.
Father, regardless of whether we are sharing the story of Your faithfulness across the ocean, across the street or across the dinner table, I pray we are open to boldly proclaiming Your Word and truth. Help each of us have the faith to serve and put others first, in a world that shouts – me first. Amen.
Live well friends,
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