Monday, November 3, 2008

Appropriate Smallness

My small group is reading The Life You've always Wanted. It is by John Ortberg and it is worth reading. Today I was reading the chapter entitled "Appropriate Smallness." It starts out talking about 3 men in Ypsalanti, Michigan that were in a psychiatric hospital and all of them suffered from the Messiah complex. They each, even when confronted with each other, believed that they were the messiah. I had to chuckle at reading it. It's a classic story of delusions of grandeur that gets told to psychology students everywhere. I actually ran into someone with this belief while working in mental health. I was there simply to assess safety. Since he wasn't a danger to himself or others, there was no choice but to let him go on his way. I knew that confronting a delusion of this proportion would only agitate him. But I was sad to see that he took this as a sign that it was appropriate to ask me to be one of his followers and write scripture.

What is the chapter about? Pride. It points to the original sin of eating the forbidden fruit as pride because they ate it so they might become like God.

The chapter goes on to discuss one of my favorite chapters in scripture -- Philippians 2. Here it points out that we often get our theology confused. We read "Who, being in very nature god, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, . . . ." and see it as God shedding who he was and putting on a different costume.

From our perspective this makes sense. But, Ortberg argues that we've got it backwards. He writes, "Jesus became a servant inspite of the fact that he was God." Being God was the cause of his making himself nothing and taking on the nature of a servant.

"When Jesus came in the form of a servant, he was not disguising who God is. He was revealing who God is."

What a wondrous thought is that? Being a servant is part of the essence of being God.

On the eve of a Presidential election, it makes me wonder which of the canidates would be presdient so that he could serve? Which one would be president so that he could wash the bruised and calloused feet of the homeless man on the street? Which one would make decisions always with the interest of the least of these in the forefront of his mind?

I don't know. Honestly, I don't think many who have the gumption to run for president have the approproate smallness servanthood requires.

Of course, the question that also needs to be asked is if I have the appropriate smallness in my day to day life?


1 comment:

WildSunflower said...

Oh WOW Amy! I AM glad I stopped by today. Thanks for this awesome blog! Am praying for all my American friends today!
(((HUGS))) Keep writing, you're REALLY good at it!