I found a needed attitude of humility at Polishing the Pulpit this year. Perhaps it is summed up perfectly in my afternoon schedule.
Every day after lunch, there were 3 sessions: a 1:30 class, a 2:30 class, and a 3:30 class. Every single day, I *really* wanted to hear at least one of those classes. But guess what after lunchtime is in our house? Naptime. And naptime is a necessary downtime for our very patient, often pushed-to-her-limit 3-year-old. And so, every day of Polishing the Pulpit, I went back to the cabin alone and put the kids down for a nap.
I don’t tell you this so you’ll say, “Wow, what a great mommy!” I tell you this to say, wow, I needed a kick in the pants with humility and service and submission.
I would have much rather stayed at PTP during the afternoons. I would have rather been listening to lessons and hanging out with people I never see (and really haven’t gotten to see this week!). I would have rather had some uninterrupted time to dwell on the Word. Instead, I spent the afternoons like I always do – with my kids by myself. And the first few days of this, I was kicking and screaming. I was mad about having to do it. I was mildly bitter about other people not having to miss anything and that even my husband got to stay behind (to do what I KNOW and fully believe is super important work – but rationale goes out the window when bitterness enters the scene). Frustration and resentment were hitting me hard, even during a week that was supposed to be refreshing. Funny how Satan works, huh?
In a week designed to renew and recharge and refresh – I was none of those things. I was lamenting my role.
And then, as the week went by and I heard lesson after lesson (from Mike Vestal in particular) about being a servant, I realized that much of my mood was my own fault. I was not looking to Jesus. Or, maybe I was looking TO Him — to offer me some sort of out— instead of looking AT Jesus and seeing Him as the greatest example there is of service and humility and submission.
Jesus would likely have rather had others caring for Him in the moments before the crucifixion, but instead, He girded Himself with a towel and washed the dirty feet of 12 grown men. Jesus was teaching, even at such a critical moment in His life (and in history!), that service is important and seen as such by God. Perhaps it is why this feet-washing moment happened at this pivotal moment in human history. All eyes were on Jesus, and Jesus said – serve.
In this season of life I’m in, it can become exhausting serving tiny people all the time. But perhaps this is a great lesson of what I’m supposed to be doing all the time. I’m supposed to be busy serving others. My life is supposed to be about putting others ahead of myself. And what better time to learn that than in the earliest days of motherhood, where a child is dependent upon you in every single way. More than anything, I want my children to see me acting like a servant and finding joy in that role. And above even that, I want my Father to see someone who feels humbled to even be a servant of His.