This morning as I was driving TJ to school, we were talking about the Russian Revolution. I know exciting stuff! Anyway, TJ was talking about the two disputing leaders – Stalin and Lenin. As he began to talk about it, he said, “What about Trotsky, where does Trotsky fit into all this?” We began a discussion on titles. While Lenin was in command, Trotsky was second in command, but as the story ends, Stalin takes over and Trotsky is pushed to the side. Instead of discussing how all this happened (which he pretty much knew for the most part) we started discussing the title “leader.” I told him that titles are a funny thing. Some people hold just that – a title, they choose to let others lead for them. The title gives them power and sometimes respect, but they do nothing to earn the title. All those workers under them earn the title for the leader. On the other hand, some people are the true essence of their title. They earned the title with God at the center of it all – working humbly and dutifully for it. Jesus was one of these people. Jesus worked in the trenches. Jesus healed and loved people unconditionally. Jesus had power, but was reluctant to use it. Jesus had words that were filled with hopefulness. Jesus empowered others to serve God. Jesus led as a teacher. Jesus was a servant for God. Jesus gave His life for us. He deserved the title Lord and Savior. He earned it. But, Jesus never wanted the title. He just wanted to do everything in God’s name.
As we continued talking, I realized that everyone has a title. My titles include Mom, sister, aunt, friend, volunteer, author, speaker, dishwasher, cook, maid, nurse, plumber, electrician, computer fixer, finder of all things lost, and many more! Some of these titles I have earned. For example the finder of everything ever lost, I have worked hard for that title! It seems that things just fall in black holes in my household, and only I can see the lost items. I am a superhero in this way. I know all you moms know what I am talking about out there. I also have earned the title picker-upper and hider of all things that you are currently looking for. You see, I must have this tendency to pick things up as I see them, and hide them where no one will find them. Megan came in yesterday and was looking for her asthma medication. “Mom, where is my medicine?” I responded, “I didn’t touch anything over on that counter today – I promise.” A few minutes later I noticed the medicine had “magically” appeared on the counter top. I asked, “Megan, where had I hidden your medicine? Just so I know in the future.” She responded, “Oh, upstairs in my bathroom.” Of course, I am constantly hiding things in her bathroom (which I choose not to enter because it is so filthy)! You see, I earn lots of my titles, but I am sure there are a few that I have just inherited for no reason at all. But what do all of these titles do except make me feel special or needed or maybe the opposite: unwanted or unnecessary?
Let’s face it, the only reason that titles occur is to label someone. We are labeling the person or ourselves either with respect or with disgrace. Lord and Savior are with great respect and honor. Jesus earned these wonderful titles and deserves my utmost respect. I, on the other hand, am not sure I earned respect for some of my titles. I certainly don’t include God in my work earning these titles (at least for the most part). There are times that I am not a very good friend or sister. There are times that my volunteer work dwindles down to nothing. There are times that my writing suffers because I don’t let God take control. There are times that I am just too tired to cook dinner for my family. I fail during these times to earn my title. We all suffer from this. We forget that God is in control, so we become exhausted from our title. Weariness is usually my first clue that I am not including God. This should be my “ah-ha” moment that I realize that I am selfishly earning my title. It seems like I earned the title, but maybe it actually is God’s title. I think this deserves repeating: IT SEEMS LIKE I EARNED THE TITLE, BUT MAYBE IT ACTUALLY IS GOD’S TITLE. God is my leader, just as Lenin was the leader for Trotsky. Trotsky was the follower of Lenin. He worked hard so Lenin could earn the title of Leader. I work hard so that God can earn the title of Mom (and all those other titles). It actually isn’t my title to begin with – it is God’s. All my work here should be done for His benefit and Glory. If I stop trying to earn my title for myself, I just might see that God is working through me and touching lives. If I allow God to become part of the title, then His light will shine through my deeds. Even down to doing the dishes. I won’t care about earning a better position or title because I will only care that God is leading the way. I will be fulfilled just by letting God work through me. I won’t worry about my failures, because I will understand that with the humility of mistakes comes joy from God. Titles can be such a burden for us. They can hold us back. They can make us ugly individuals. They can chain us down. They can block us from seeing our true selves. Let your title be “Servant of God or Doer of all things for God.” The other titles may come your way, but offer them up to God. Give him the Glory, not yourself!
I Corinthians 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God