In my last blog post, I shared the process of spiritual discernment, which as I understand it involves paying attention to the wisdom that the Lord gives us during the course of our everyday lives. According to Proverbs 8, Wisdom comes from a variety of sources and illumines the pathway forward.
So I thought I'd share some of the stories that captured my attention last year, ones that drew my attention, ones that seemed to shout, "This is important! Pay attention."
Gary Walters, the president of my denomination, mentioned he has a table full of roosters outside his office. At the midwinter conference, he told us why.
Every morning, a rooster got up early and crowed. Every morning the sun rose, magnificent in its glory. Morning after morning, the rooster crowed and then the sun rose. It wasn't long before he noticed that the sunrise always followed his crowing. He reasoned, "The sun rises because of my crowing, to bring me glory." His arrogance was shattered the next morning when he refused to crow and the sun rose anyway. The world didn't even notice he had been silent.
Gary said the rooster is a wonderful reminder to assume our proper role in the universe. (Phil 2.) Instead of thinking that the Creator had gifted him to draw attention to dawn, the rooster concluded the sun rose to bring him glory. He got it exactly wrong. As I heard this story the Lord underscored its importance for NEWIM, too. What appears to us to be cause and effect, may be deceiving. We don't control the results: God does. Humbly we use our gifts to bring glory to Him and Him alone.
Humility is a core value that we want to hold onto...but I don't think we'll be adding a rooster to our logo anytime soon.
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!" Phil 2:3-8