Saturday, June 13, 2020


It was the winter of 1998.  My younger brother was a senior in High School and I was a second year junior in college.  I decided to take the five-year plan…after all…I was 22 years old…knew all that there was to know and had no ability to see that I would one day have to pay back these government subsidized loans.  Who knew that the government didn’t actually give out free money…they actually wanted it back???
My younger brother was wrestling in the Section 6A tournament, in which the top two finishers would advance to the State Tournament the following weekend.  The final round was about to begin.  Two mats were laid out side by side.  One mat would feature the championship matches and the other would host the 3rd place matches.  The seats were all filled as we awaited the beginning of the round.  It was incredibly exciting.
I couldn’t help but reflect on how just a few short years prior I had been wrestling in these rounds as well.  Oh, how I longed to get out there and show the people that I still had what it took to excel at the elite varsity level of High School.  I could feel my muscles tense…I became fidgety in my seat…finally I couldn’t stand it anymore.  With about 5 minutes before the start of the round I jumped up…grabbed my mother next to me…lifted her over my shoulder and strode to the center of one of the mats amid the sea of surrounding wrestling fans.  I gently laid her down in the center of the mat…put her on her back…and slapped the mat! I pinned her!  I jumped up in jubilation…raising my arms in celebration…I had done it!!!  I was the victor…I won! I am somebody!!!
“Ryan, what is wrong with you?” asked my red-faced mother.
It is difficult to tell if the redness was embarrassment or anger…or perhaps that the blood rushed to her head as I carried her nearly upside down out to the mat.
“What!?...I couldn’t help it!” I walked back to my seat and left her to humbly walk back to her seat alone.
Now that I think about it…my mother asked a pretty good question. “What “IS” wrong with me?”
Somewhere in life I have come to realize that I long to win…to be the victor…to be of value…to be important…to not be forgotten.  I have come to see that each of those desires revolves entirely around me.
I find that I am not that much different than Herod Agrippa…who had arrested and killed the Apostle James in Acts 12.  The people were thrilled with him. So, he arrested Peter to do the same. We find him in Acts 12:18-25, at the pinnacle of his popularity…he appears before the people glistening in the sun…almost godlike…basking in the people’s pleasure. When suddenly he dies and is eaten by worms.
Why?...because it is not about him. It is about the CREATOR of him.
Thank God…that it is not about me…because if it were…it would be all about some insecure, self-focused, has been, whose past keeps getting better as his age increases.
I am glad to serve a God who is Glorious.  So, I will strive to always give Him the Glory.  May you find yourself…seeing the Glory of God and making it all about HIM.

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