Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Not sure I like being the oldest...

I am the youngest in my family. Well, actually, there were only two of us - but I am still the youngest. Being the youngest comes with certain, shall we say, privileges. We get to be the baby. We get to learn from our siblings mistakes. We get by on cuteness for at least the first 5 years of our life. We seem to get a "pass" on more of our behaviors - the older kids have just worn the parents down. We are usually the life of the party and entertainers at heart. I have to admit, I love being the youngest. Maybe that's why today's random thought is a bit tough for me to swallow.

Today I was talking to God about a situation I am dealing with. It's a tough one and I'd love to fall into my "youngest child" status and wait for it to go away, charm my way out of it, or simply be rescued...something! Instead, I hear in my heart - "It's time for you to be the oldest." What? I don't want to! I don't want to put on my big girl panties and face this giant of a situation. I didn't do anything wrong! And again I hear, "It's time for you to be the oldest."

Okay, I know what this means, but that doesn't mean I like it. It means I have to be the first to go forward and mend fences that are torn. It means I have to swallow my pride and do what I know it right even though I just want to run and hide. It means I have to act like the oldest...because I am.

It occurred to me this morning that those around me that I think are acting like "fools" are really my younger brothers and sisters in Christ....they are His kids too. I just happen to be older, and that means I should have probably learned a little more. I "know better".

I'd love to use the excuse that it's not my fault they act that way, but I feel that gentle nudge that reminds me it wasn't His fault that I acted that way - and yet He still sacrificed Himself for me. He still forgave me for all that I had done...for all that I was doing...for all I would probably do again. He forgave. My big brother, Jesus, forgave...and now it's my turn. It's my turn to forgive those who hurt me. It's my turn to reach out and guide by example. I'm not two anymore...I'm the oldest.

I know this isn't easy. I've had times when I reached out an olive branch only to have it sharpened into an arrow and flung back at me. That doesn't change the fact that I was supposed to do what is right...I'm the oldest.

This journey to Advent is taking me on some unfamiliar roads, I must admit. Some are kind of bumpy...doesn't look like a lot of people have traveled this way, but I know they have. I can look around me and see them. They are the ones who leave a legacy that changes the world. They are my older brothers and sisters in Christ. And now it's my turn....I'm the oldest.

Wonder what I'll discover next on this road to Advent?

Ephesians 5:2

New International Version (NIV)
2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Romans 8:14-20

New International Version (NIV)

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, “Abba,[b] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

1 Corinthians 14:20

20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.

Okay - this next one kind of gives me a kick in the pants!

Hebrews 5:11-15

The Message (MSG)
11-14I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you've picked up this bad habit of not listening. By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby's milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God's ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.


Dottie Duckworth said...

Oh My!!!! I so needed to hear this. Wish I could say I wanted to hear it. :) I am doing a Beth Moore study on the fruit of the Spirit. She is on AGAPE at the moment. It all kinda fits together. In order to grow we must walk in His Agape. This is easy with strangers, but a bit more challenging with those we love. 1Cor.13:8a says love never we receive God's Agape and Agape others in return.....this growing up thing may become a little easier??

Deidra Gammill said...

Thanks for sharing this Donna. It's something I've been struggling with myself (although without much success). You can reach a point, if you're not careful, that you want to throw relationships away, walk away from church, and never look back. I appreciate the reminder that we are to be obedient to Him no matter how others behave.