My 2 little dogs are very good teaching tools. Sometimes I am a little jealous of them. For they have few concerns. They care about food, water, safety and loving affection. How they each receive love is different. For my little coco feels loved when you play with him and give him attention. On the other hand, my little Itsy feels loved when you snuggle with her and let her rub up against your face.
We humans, particularly American’s have many concerns that far exceeds the concerns of my 2 little dogs. We care about making our outer appearance desirable, we care about having the biggest house, the nicest car, making sure everything is in perfect order at the expense of others or our own health and who wins the football game. This passage in Mark and my 2 dogs reminded me how much we humans often get everything backwards in our priorities. The result is never good and rarely glorifying to our Heavenly Father. Yet we walk around completely oblivious to our own blindness.
“He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!”he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Mark 8:31-38
What are the concerns of God? Are those really our concerns or have we lost sight of everything that trusty matters? Maybe instead of asking for God to give us a, b, c we should be asking God to show us what he is concerned about. Maybe instead of asking for God to change our situation we should be asking God to give us eyes to see what he is trying to accomplish in our current circumstances. Maybe instead of caring about who wins the football game we should be more concerned with who God has placed in our lives that needs there soul transformed and healed. Maybe our motivation for getting healthier shouldn’t be to live longer but be more able/fit to do God’s work. Maybe instead of tearing each other down in order to reach our goal we should come alongside each other, carry each other because 2 are always better and more effective than 1. Maybe instead of trying to be the best we should make God’s name exalted on high. Maybe we should feed the hungry rather than eating at the nicest restaurant in town. Maybe we should open our home to someone in need rather than being afraid of the unknown. Maybe… maybe we will suffer for doing good, just like Jesus, but at the end of the day it will be worth it. Maybe we should be more willing to sacrifice. Maybe we should be more concerned with God’s concerns than our own. Amen.