“I have to do what’s best for me, and for my family.”
This single sentence, or a variation of it, has proven to be a popular reprise for professional athletes, disgraced politicians, and nearly any and everyone wanting to escape the weight or obligation of unfulfilled expectations. It’s the trump card. The shortener of protracted arguments, the extinguisher of logical rebuffs…
This statement is to explanations, what a “get out of jail free” card is in Monopoly. Case closed. Discussion ended.
It was on the front page in Denver recently and I was struck by how disarming it was. Reporters focused on the deal points, journalists explored the implications… while those involved skate… to their next gig. To what lights their fire. To what’s best for them… for now.
And so I wondered… first as a fan, then as a human being, and then as a follower of Jesus… the Christ.
What if Jesus had worked with Scott Boras (the most notable sport’s agent, a man feared by owners and revered by players)? What if Jesus had looked at His Father and said…”I have to do what’s best for me?”
So when did we start believing that this was an appropriate response to the decisions in life… the really tough decisions?
Rewind history. To a solitary moment. To a garden. To a conversation. Negotiation.
“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” ~ Matthew 26:39
If there was ever a human being that had all of the bargaining chips on their side; if ever there was a man that deserved the best for Himself; if ever…
Not Jesus. Not the Christ. He put all of His leverage in the hands of His Father and said; “your mission,” “your plan,” “your design,” “your vision,” “your mercy,” “your love first.” Jesus was faithful to the call. He handed His trump card back to God.
It is what distinguishes the Christian message. God extends His love and grace to us, while we disavow Him. He goes first. He shows us that “doing what’s best for myself” is antithetical to living and loving like we were designed to live and love.
No. Simply no. As followers of Jesus we must trace His steps to the cross. To the place that ended all debate on doing “what’s best for me.” To a place where trump cards are burned.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing…” ~ Philippians 2:5-7a
A mission and call bigger than me.
Need I say more.
P.S. – And for those of you left wondering after the Fragment from last week… Alli Horst, my daughter, delivered Desmond Matthew Horst, right on time… on August 21 at 2:20 am. Oh what joy!