If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more:
circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the
tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to
zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ.
More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of
knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all
things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be
found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but
one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on
faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing
of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the
resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have
already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus
has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but
this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what
lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God
in Christ Jesus.
Several years ago I found myself unexpectedly raising my niece and nephew, then
a newborn and 2 year old. I was
determined that they would have a normal and “perfect” life in spite of the
non-traditional family we were.
After a full day of teaching kindergarten I picked them up from school and spent
every second with them until they went to sleep, always feeling guilty that I
had to put them in childcare. Then it
was time to clean house and do laundry so that when they woke up, everything
A friend from church convinced me to join a Lenten Prayer Group, to do something
for myself; I felt guilty leaving the children, but I went. A few weeks into the group we were in a
discussion, I no longer remember the topic, and as it came to my turn I
announced, “I think I am only giving God my leftovers.” There was some laughter before I explained
that I was so busy making life perfect I only made time for God after
the laundry, after the dishes, after bedtime stories…I needed to let God give us
a normal and perfect life.
Dr. Susan Ward Diamond said, “What do all of our accomplishments really matter,
if we’ve missed the whole point of life in the first place?”
Prayer: God, give me the strength and wisdom to put
you first and to do your will.
Director of Early Childhood Program