This might shock some people but as a child my hero was Kevin Keegan and so I always wanted to play for Liverpool, preferably alongside him! Then I wanted to be a snooker player. After that came being a world famous actor. I remember dabbling with the idea of being a nurse but after being laughed at in school I ditched that.
You may think my desires were crazy. My brother at 16yrs was filmed on the BBC telling the world he wanted to be a millionaire by the time he was 21yrs! There was a context to that which doesn’t make it as humorous so I will leave it out.
We all have gone down the same path of wanting to be like our heroes.
It isn’t long into life that we experience the expectations of others of what we should be. I remember parents bringing their little boy to me at the front of a church to pray that God will make him a doctor. I bent down and whispered to the boy asking if he would like to be a doctor and he gently replied NO. So I prayed for the parents to be better parents!
One of the effects of worry is causing you to think you are not capable to deal with what may happen next. If you don’t know who you are and who you are journeying to become then you will always be disabled by the thoughts you will not have enough and be enough in that situation.
Let’s see what Jesus says next. Remember he is speaking about the flowers in the field.
“Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.”(Matthew 6 v 29)
The following is a rather long passage but I have edited it. I’ve copied it from the Message as it might help such a long reading! 2 Chronicles 9: 13-29
“Solomon received twenty-five tons of gold annually… King Solomon crafted two hundred body-length shields of hammered gold—about fifteen pounds of gold to each shield—and about three hundred small shields about half that size… The king made a massive throne of ivory with a veneer of gold. The throne had six steps leading up to it with an attached footstool of gold… There was no throne like it in any other kingdom. King Solomon’s chalices and tankards were made of gold, and all the dinnerware and serving utensils … were pure gold… The king’s ships … made a round trip to Tarshish every three years, returning with a cargo of gold, silver, and ivory … King Solomon was richer and wiser than all the kings of the earth—he surpassed them all. Kings came from all over the world to be with Solomon and get in on the wisdom God had given him. Everyone who came brought gifts… parades of visitors, year after year. Solomon collected horses and chariots. He had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen in barracks in the chariot-cities and in Jerusalem.”
Jesus says NOT EVEN Solomon.
Not at any time of all his gold, or of him sitting on the throne, or him being adored by many or of him being the most powerful king there was. NOT AT ANY TIME. NOT EVEN. He tried but he failed to be better than the flower in the field. Every single time the flower in the field outdid him.
We may spend our whole lives trying to be somebody else, one of our heroes, or just one of our neighbours, or that perfect person in the church. We may view ourselves as just a flower in a field. Perhaps we are hard on ourselves and we are a wilting flower. Maybe we don’t feel useful anymore. The heart of Jesus says the flower, you, has more than the person who has achieved the most.
You are enough.
I don’t have to be Kevin Keegan. I can be comfortable being me.
It is time for more true disciples of Jesus to be small in the Christian culture of big is best.
My name is Andrew Paul. Andrew means man, masculine, macho. I am not that person. I have never been called Andrew except at a security airport desk. I have tried to be that person but I just look ridiculous. Some want me to be that person to fit their mould of leadership and they are disappointed. But when I try anxiety wins.
My name is Paul. I try to be small because that is its meaning. But also because I find Jesus leads me to the bruised reeds and smouldering wicks of which Matthew will write about later in his gospel. There are many bent flowers in the field. I am one of them. I sit in the fields with those who mourn today, with those who have nothing because the deceiver took from their life. I sit with the abused, the leper, the dying. I sit with the persecuted where corruption and cruelty are part of their daily life. I weep often. But as I try to decrease more and more, as I become smaller it is there in that place that I find a very big God and when I do I smile and laugh, for He is good and His love endures forever.
I am trying to be true to who I am. You may worry that you are not what people think you are. That is perfectly okay. The problem comes when you announce you are great but you are not great at all. Don’t do that. But don’t pander the needs of others who always need a guru in their midst. Resist. Be who you are. But come and be small with me, it is great down here in the field of flowers, God is great! We don’t have to be the Solomon’s of this world. We can be someone different. But write down who you want to be and when worry comes with its temptation then you can simply say I will not be that person, I will not give my attention to being the best, seen to be the wisest, the most blessed materially, the orator, the one with the most qualifications, the greatest stories. I will be a flower in the field and know that NOT EVEN all those titles and positions are dressed like me. God has made me who I am and that is more than good enough for Him.