Saturday, July 25, 2009

St. James and me

This morning, reading about St. James, I thought, "Boy, he was a bit of a jerk, wasn't he? Both those Boanerges boys. And mama's boys to boot."

The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They said to him, "We are able."

I wonder what Jesus thought about this request, as he replied, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."

Next scene: grumble, grumble, grumble from the others: "When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers."

And what did Jesus think of this? "Oh, knock it off," seems a good summation.

But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."


So almost immediately after this, I was looking at various blogs and things and found that someone I had known Back When was writing as a guest blogger for another blog. And I was absolutely stricken with jealousy: Why is she writing for that blog and not me? Which is crazy for a number of reasons.

a) I write my own blog, so it's not like I can't say whatever I want when I want in just as public a forum as she does;
b) This other blog, though certainly with a far wider readership than my own blog, isn't what you'd call a household name. So I am upset about not writing for a medium-large blog within the small world of Anglican blogging;
c) I get nervous when a lot of people read and comment on my blog, being rather thin-skinned, so I'm not even sure I would WANT to write in a larger forum;
d) have I ever asked to write for any other blogs? Why no!

And yet there it is. So who exactly is a jerk, here? And what is it that gets us (James and me, that is) so wound up about Being Recognized rather than simply doing what needs doing and letting "recognition" take care of itself.

I can just hear Jesus saying, "Oh, knock it off." And so I am posting my own foolishness here in hopes that it will help me laugh at myself and get back to what needs to be done. Which today includes writing up a sermon on David and Bathsheba, which should be fun!

7 comments:

Bob said...

We all want to gain advancement, whether earned or through our connections. Have you ever heard a sermon or read a paper with more references and name dropping than actual message? The clergy are absolutely not immune.(Oh that ordination were as magical as that!) I remember as a youngster wanting to be the friend of the well-known or well-respected guy. I also remember wanting to be teacher's pet. So if my Mom wants to ask Jesus to give me pride of place, well, then!

it's margaret said...

God bless you Laura! And thank you for being honestly vulnerable.

Laura Toepfer said...

Oh boy are clergy not immune. I'm hoping to build up some antibodies, though, to care and not to care. It's just embarrassing to KNOW, intellectually, how it doesn't matter

Laura Toepfer said...

...but to find that somehow it still matters to me. Very annoying.

(that first bit got published before I was done.)

Anonymous said...

How I love your two comments here, Laura! They remind me of one of my own rueful favorite parts of St. Paul, the part where he has to admit that he tends to do the things he doesn't want to do, and not to do the things he does want to do. Humans, what a package of paradoxes we are...and yet God loves us anyway, even when we are extremely annoying. Not a justification for being annoying, of course, but still a relief to remember.

preacherlady said...

Weeeeeeirrd....or not. Having stumbled across your blog through PeaceBang's site, I find myself reading your account of struggling with the same envy I just struggled with (and blogged about) last night while watching an ohmigoshiwishiwerehalfasawesomeassheis pastor do God's thing via webcast. Thank you - I feel, if not better, at least not as alone in my less than graceful moments. Blessings on your ministry!

Laura Toepfer said...

Hey, PreacherLady, I just popped over to your blog, which is fab. Will comment there, too, but boy do I suspect we are not alone. Workin' on that ol' humility thing. It's a bear.