Mark 9:33- 33: And they came to Capharnaum. And when they were in the house, he asked them: What did you discuss on the way? But they they remained silent, for they had disputed amoung themselves, which of them should be the greatest.
The quote cut deep, revealing the source of most of my anxiety - my value. Like the Apostles, I am constantly comparing my value against others. Am I as good or better than he/she/them? If I am not, how can I make myself more valuable? The right answer is to be kind, considerate, and give a full, honest day's work regardless of what others do. The wrong answer, which is often much easier, is to criticise and put down; boast, gloat, insult, or become defenisve. The other choice, one I am particularly prone to, is to withdraw and pull away, nuturing feelings of inadequacy and unworth. All unproductive and destructive.
Rather, I need to fall back on my Christian faith. Scripture teaches us we are all valued, not because of our appearance, our behavoir or our talents - because we are a Child of God, hand picked, invited to spend our entire lives and eternity with an all powerful God who chooses to be called, Father. Over and over He tells us how much he loves us, how much He values us. Even the hairs of our head are numbered.
This lesson wasn't enough. God went one step further. Streams in the Desert: And then came a lion. 1 Samuel 17: 34. Yep, a lion, once again, the third instance lions were mentioned to me this week. After my last experience with lions (see Lions (Why I Write), I chose to pay attention, immediately.
In 1 Samuel 17:34, David encounters a lion while herding his father's sheep. Rather than viewing the charging lion as an excuse to run and hide, David sees it as an opportunity to build his faith and trust in God, building his confidence to later face Goliath and eventually become king. The rude woman I encountered last week was my charging lion, challenging me to stand or run. This time I chose to stand with confidence and faith. I didn't really understand why at the time, but I do now.
God calls many of His most valued workers from the unknown multitude. Streams in the Desert. We are valued even if we are not called to royalty like David, but work behind the scenes where no one but God notices. Only God witnessed my brave encounter with the rude woman, and only God notices my small, and I often believe, inconsequential contributions to the world, yet they are of value, and so am I - something of value. Just as you are, just as the rude woman is. Neither has more, or less, value than the other.
I pray I can carry this knowledge out into the world and actually practice it in my work place, with my friends and family, and with the rude people I encounter. How about you? Do you feel valued?