Friday, March 12, 2010

Me First

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought...
(Romans 12:3)
"Me first!"

Yep, I heard this phrase today. Multiple times. Me first, me first, me first.

Sure, my kids were saying it. But this week I've been mindful of my own battle against this mentality.

This week I subbed at a high school and headed out the door without breakfast every day. I don't normally skip breakfast, so I felt really ready to eat by the time lunchtime rolled around. But those long-legged students always beat me over to the dining hall, and I was stuck in a long line. I know (because I used to teach there) that teachers are allowed to cut in line and get their food first so that they can get going on their lunches or get to their commitments or meetings, and I've done that in the past.

But I couldn't bring myself to do it this time.

Oh, I wanted to--with my blood sugar plummeting, I was so ready to eat. But you know what? So were those students! Even if it is allowed, why should I get to go before a bunch of other people who are just as hungry as I?

Do you, like me, ever park where you shouldn't, as though the rules don't apply to you? Do you change lanes constantly while driving, assuming your time is more important than that of the others in the cars around you? I am SO guilty of that one. It's all evidence of that "Me first" attitude. Believe me, I'd like to call it something else, but I know that if the shoe fits, I've gotta wear it.

And so in my coming and going lately, I am trying to be mindful of the way I think about what it means to be first. After all, according to our God, the first shall be last. And the ones who let in that trying-to-merge driver whom everyone else is ignoring, the ones who say, "You can go ahead of me" in the grocery line or who choose to be a spouse's needs first--these are the ones who are first in His Kingdom.

I teach my children to say "You first." But I'm learning right along with them.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others above yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4

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