Do you know how glorious it is to speak at an event that’s directed by a thoughtful and gracious event coordinator? Those are the trips that are somewhere near heaven. Ah, to be chauffeured about, fed the best meals from the finest restaurants, then transported to a posh hotel, only to find a gorgeous gift basket already delivered to the room. Bubble bath waiting. Bed turned down. Mint on the pillow. It’s good to be queen.
Okay, no one knows as well as I do that I don’t deserve to be treated like a queen. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it, does it?
You know when I truly realize I’ve been unduly treated like royalty? When I get home. It’s like a whiplash back into reality. One second I’m signing books and greeting the complimentary crowds, the next I’m walking in the door to kids who barely manage a deadpan, “Oh Mom, it’s you. I’m glad you’re home – ‘cuz we’re out of bread. And somebody must’ve spilled a bunch of milk inside the fridge ‘cuz it smells really nasty in there.”
I’m suddenly “persona non au gratin”—no longer the big cheese. It’s so funny that I can go straight from the applause of a gracious audience to cleaning the cat box.
While I admit I love my short reigns as queen, I have to tell you that there’s something quite comfortable about coming home to bread-fetching, milk-mopping and cat-box-cleaning servitude. Living with an entire brigade of pride police really isn’t a bad thing.
Humility can be so tricky. Once you realize you have it, it’s probably a point of pride—and then it’s gone! The best way to stay humble is to stay focused on Christ, our example. We’re told in Philippians 2:5-8 (Amplified Bible) to have his attitude. “Let this same attitude and purpose and humble mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: Let Him be your example in humility. Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God, possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God, did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity, so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself still further and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!”
Jesus was true royalty, not the temporary, speaking-event kind. He is rightly called the King of all kings. Yet this passage tells us that He didn’t hang on to those rights as royalty. He pushed them aside on our behalf and took on servant status. Imagine leaving the splendor of a Heaven beyond any five star hotel we can picture to serve and to unselfishly give His life.
I really do want to be like Him. I want to humbly serve before any crowd. And I want to humbly serve as I load my shopping cart with four gallons of milk. The Message phrases Proverbs 15:33b this way: “First you learn humility, then you experience glory.” By His grace, there’s glory before the crowds. I truly believe that in humble surrender, by His grace, there’s glory in the cat box too.