Daily D – Luke 7:31-32
“To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to each other:
We played the flute for you,
but you didn’t dance;
we sang a lament,
but you didn’t weep!”
LUKE 7:31-32 (CSB)
It is a fair question, so let’s ask it about ourselves, shall we? Who are you?
You can be The Me Others Expect Me to Be. People had all kinds of expectations for Jesus. Read the Gospels and see that people wanted him to set up healing stations and stay put right there. People wanted him to open bread dispensaries and to keep it coming day after day. People wanted him to give them endless flows of living (running) water.
People had all kinds of expectations about what Messiah would be. The Coming One was a blank canvas, like a politician, upon whom people painted their fondest hopes and dreams.
You can be The Me I Want to Be. Have you ever noticed that almost everyone wants to be in charge? They do this in different ways, to be sure, but almost everyone does it. Some want to seize control like Alexander Haig when President Reagan was shot and Vice President Bush was out of the country. He famously said, “I am in control here.”
Some want to take control through the force of their personality. Others want to exercise control through passive-aggressive manipulation. Still others choose to control things through mastery of details.
Most of the time, The Me I Want to Be is at least somewhat unrealistic. For example, when Dak Prescott went down with that gruesome leg injury last season, the Cowboys did not call on me to suit up and lead the team to the Super Bowl. As much as I always wanted to become the next Captain America like Roger Staubach, no one seemed to think of me when Dak went down. Apparently, you can’t be anything you want to be.
The good news is that you can be The Me God Wants Me to Be. This is the best role yet. People can sing their happy songs, play their sad tunes, and tell you who you should be, and you can instead keep in step with Jesus to live a life focused on what matters most.
Everyone has an opportunity for us. As one professor enjoyed telling his students, “Opportunities are distractions in disguise.” When you and I become The Me God Wants Me to Be, we focus on ultimate matters.
A friend had a stroke at an early age. He recovered, but he never got over the sudden realization of his mortality. He who had been busy with everyone’s opportunities decided he would no longer devote himself to small things. He chose to engage only in activity of exponential impact.
Before you walk out the door today you need to decide which Me I’m Going to Be. You can be The Person I Am Paid to Be, or you can be The Person Who Adds the Most Value to Everyone I See.
The question is worth asking again: Who are you? Who who, who who?
I will be the me God wants me to be.
Our Father, I want to be the man you want me to be. I will settle for no opportunity that distracts me from this. I will not waste time on any lesser thing. Whatever you want is what I want, too. Amen.
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Numbers 14:24 But since my servant Caleb has a different spirit and has remained loyal to me, I will bring him into the land where he has gone, and his descendants will inherit it. (CSB)
Luke 9:18-20 While he was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back.” “But you,” he asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” (CSB)
Luke 9:7-8 Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was going on. He was perplexed, because some said that John had been raised from the dead, some that Elijah had appeared, and others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. “I beheaded John,” Herod said, “but who is this I hear such things about?” And he wanted to see him. (CSB)
Psalm 56:1,2 Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me; he fights and oppresses me all day long. My adversaries trample me all day, for many arrogantly fight against me. (CSB)