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Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 34: What we think we become*

The Day 34 chapter of The Purpose Driven Life sets out five ways that servants think:

  1. Servants spend more time thinking of others than they do thinking about themselves.  
  2. Servants think like stewards, not owners - that is, they know everything, including their time, belongs to God.
  3. Servants think about their work, not what others are doing - they don't compare, critcise or compete with others.
  4. Servants have nothing to prove - because they know they are loved and accepted by God, they willingly accept jobs that insecure people would consider beneath them.
  5. Servants think of ministry (ie serving others) as an opportunity, not an obligation - "because they love the Lord, they know serving is the highest use of life, and they know God has promised a reward".
When I first read this chapter I had difficulties with it.  At the age of 29, I resigned from the worst job in the world and had a bit of a mid-life crisis.  All my life I had done everything you are supposed to do, got good marks at school, gone to university and completed both an undergraduate and masters degree, worked hard in the jobs I'd held and here I was turning 30, single, unemployed, moving back in with my parents because I had no money and feeling miserable.  So when I first read the chapter I thought "well I did all that and it got me no-where".

When I told my husband I was having trouble with "thinking like a servant", he said, "but you are a servant every day to our daughter" (she is five months old).  I again looked over the five ways servants think had to admit it, when it comes to my daughter it was true. Then I thought more about spending 29 years of my life doing "everything you are supposed to do" and realised I had not done it for God or for anyone else, I had done it because I wanted a good life. Even if I had worked long hours for others, ultimately, I had done it for me and in doing so had broken the second commandment and made an idol of success.

After I had moved back home to my parents (from Sydney to Melbourne) I caught up with a friend of mine, who asked me whether I had learnt any big lesson from the whole experience.  I told her no, it was just all crap.  Maybe it has taken 10 years for me to work out what the lesson was.
* The title is a quote by Buddha.

1 comment:

  1. Doesnt matter when you learn the lesson, the good think is learning it and remembering the learning.