Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Whose Kingdom is It Anyway?

One of the great things about living in Florida is being able to go to the beach 3 days before Christmas. That is how this year found me, skimboarding on the ocean waves lapping up onto the shore well until past twilight. If you live in the North, (or anywhere else above South Florida) you might be jealous to hear that even the onset of night didn't make it too cold to continue enjoying the water and sand. (No hate mail, please.)

As it got later and the lifeguards had finished their shift and closed up shop, I drew near to the pier. (They don't allow skimboarders in guarded areas. Some garbage about safety or something like that. Psh.) As I was enjoying riding the waves and such, I noticed a teenager running about in a wetsuit. At one point, I fell off my board and the water had carried it a distance from me. The young man in the black wetsuit ran up, grabbed my board, played with it in the water for half a minute, and then handed it back to me, laughing all the while.

Sound strange? Yes, it was, but the boy had some kind of developmental deficiency. I can't speak into the details of the situation, but having studied many developmental disorders in nursing school, I knew he had some kind of dementia or autism perhaps. I stayed around that area close to the pier, continuing to try to get some good waves in before heading home, but I couldn't keep my eyes off the boy who ran about the shoreline, splashed in the water, and threw small pebbles back into the ocean, even grabbing a jellyfish that had washed up on shore. No shame. No fear. No regret.

I wanted to be like him.

As I watched, I realized that this boy didn't give a flip about what other people were thinking about him. As someone who is so wrapped up in my performance, I wanted to stop caring about what people thought about whether or not I excelled. I began to long to do the things that I do for the God's glory instead of my own. I wanted to enjoy throwing pebbles without wanting to show my neighbor how far they went. I wanted to splash in the water with no fear of how silly I looked doing it. I wanted to run along the shoreline without worrying about my form. I wanted to grab jellyfish without thinking that others would look at me like an idiot.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10)
Casting Crowns has a song that says, "How can I further your Kingdom when I'm so wrapped up in mine?" A life of making the almighty "me" the end goal of my efforts is a life wasted. And as much as it is easy to sit here and write that I want to change, I stand to make this post as much about my conviction as it is for yours. When our lives become about God and others, people notice, are blown away, and do not understand. It's only logical: no one understands miracles, and a lack of selfishness is probably one of the most miraculous things out there.

That is what I want.


"a lack of selfishness is probably one of the most miraculous things out there"

Knocked the wind out of me. I want that too.

[And yes, I'm a little jealous of the whole Florida/beach thing.]

Living for God's glory feels so much better than doing everything for our own praise. Thanks for this post!

[I just came back from sunny Florida and it is below freezing in Atlanta. I envy you! haha]

Thanks Jennifer! And yeah, the worst it got so far was about 40 degrees.

Thanks Eddie! Yeah, it's crazy how pursuing our own glory actually ends in the total opposite of satisfaction.

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