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August 19, 2004

Ego and Coffee

It is Olympic time in the world. All the nations of the world have sent their best athletes to compete against one another to know who is best this year in each specific sport. It has been exciting to watch and to take in the events. It was exciting to hear and see the international crowd that attended the opening ceremonies cheer in joy for the Iraqi athletes, knowing that in their coming to compete, there is a new found freedom for them. At the same time it was heartbreaking to see the arrogance and ego of many of our country's athletes as they entered into their competitions. Two that come to mind at the moment are Michael Phelps, the "I'm going to win 8 gold medals" swimmer who was humbled during his first two events. The other is our superstar basketball team that has "dominated" the last decade in basketball. Their ego swelled heads helped them to lose horribly to the team from Puerto Rico.

It makes me think and wonder why we as Americans are so egotistical and sure of ourselves. We might have right to be that way because we are really at the top of most things in the world. Yet, that really doesn't give us right. That should make us more humble, knowing that we have much to be thankful for. I guess that is what ego does to us—it blinds us from thankfulness and humility.

Today in the coffee shop I frequent, I saw the opposite of what I have seen on the Olympic coverage. Every so often as I sit, think, and work on the various things in my life of ministry, a guy brings three mentally and physically challenged people in for coffee. I don't know his or their stories, where they come from, whether they live in a group home, or what. But I do know that there is humility and thankfulness oozing out of them. The man who brings them looks as if he could be running a corporation or leading multitudes of people forward in business or whatever the "successful" thing is to be doing our "American" eyes. Yet, he brings these three people in for coffee. He gets their coffee and brings it to them as they sit around the tables. He talks with them as if they were best friends, sometimes looking through the newspaper with them and talking through the daily events. And they, in turn, treat him as if he were normal, just like them. There was such a peace here in the coffee shop when they were here. There was a sense of knowing that the world really is ok, that there are those bright spots of life in amidst our "ego" driven existence.

We who make up the body of Christ are called to live humble lives. I sometimes wonder if we do. Do we allow ourselves to get caught up in other things and lose sight of what we were called to be? In the last few moments of his life, Jesus took the time to wash his disciples’ feet, giving them yet another example of how to live. Then he gave his life for them—for you and for me. He calls us to live as he lived. What life are you living?

Lord, may we learn to live with much humility and thankfulness.

2 comments:

Commish said...

Wally! Had no idea you were "out here"... I shall now link you, and excitedly spread the word that this page exists.

Russell said...

Russell here, good to see and hear from you...in the blog nation...Man, I still am in shock you are a proud poppa...PRAISE GOD...it is like when people thinking of me being married...lol...anyways...congradulations to you and Stephanie...love bro

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