Thursday, February 7, 2013

Perpetually Third Place?

I can't help it. I love silly crazy movies! Yes. Even Will Ferrell movies. Something about useless humor makes me smile. I guess when reality seems too "real", "stupid" becomes somewhat appealing. The things that I don't have to think about...just watch and laugh...No pondering...Those things draw me in on any given day that I want to escape reality. One of my favorites is "Talladega Nights". Being that I am a good ol' southern girl who loves NASCAR, that one just stole my heart. My favorite useless line in the entire movie is "If you ain't first, you're last." In general, I feel like I usually come in last. I was telling a friend the other day about how my two cats fight over who can sleep the closest to the heating pad I put in bed with me every night. Even in that game, I usually come in third. Which is technically last being that there are two cats and yours truly competing for the perfect spot. I was always picked last in school when choosing teams for kickball. Notoriously, I am the last to speak up because I don't want to be misunderstood for interrupting a conversation. I falsely believe my opinion is the LAST one anyone wants to hear in the big scheme of things. It just seems natural for me to take a back seat. You probably feel like you come in last sometimes too. We all do. It is part of being a human being. Another huge part of being a human being is maturing. We all do that too. At least we are supposed to. Maturity in Christ is the main goal of any believer's lifestyle. It is something we strive for every single day if we are committed Christians. It is a goal we will never grasp tightly while here in this secular realm, but the effort we put forth, with the Holy Spirit's help, can get us closer and closer until the day we enter eternity and grab that "maturity" reward! FINALLY! So many of God's ways seem backwards to the ways that roll around in our minds. For instance, God's Word completely blows the "If you ain't first, you're last" sentiment out of the water altogether. No matter what our feelings tell us about always coming in last (or third in the case of my cats and I),our Creator says we always come in FIRST.Believing that is a good start to becoming spiritually mature. Mark 10:31 reassures us. "But, those who are first will be last, and the last first." There is often an amount of pride involved when we come in first place. We enjoy those pats on the back and the "way to go" comments from our observers. Of course we do. We are flesh and blood beings with an ego that longs to be stroked every now and then. But, what is even better is when GOD HIMSELF is by our side cheering us on even when we come in last! He is proud of us and will give us first place in his heart and in eternal life! That is pretty exciting for those of us who tend to be "third placers". Pretty enlightening for us who long to be spiritually mature. "For My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." (John 6:40) AWESOME newsflash!!! Be it a clumsy athlete, an overweight young girl, a financially deprived husband and father, a shy young boy, a struggling artist, a bullied teenager, or any other person who feels "last" in the game of life, God has saved the first place in His plan for you!! Nothing can destroy the life that Jesus died to give you. Nothing can push you to the ground defeated and hollow unless you allow it to. Don't allow it to. Every time you start to feel defeat attacking, hold onto and receive this truth from the Word of God: "May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us, establish the work of our hands for us- yes,establish the works of our hands." (Psalm 90:17) You are established in His Name! You are victorious in His Name! You are First! Amen. Love and Blessings, Starr