Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
~ Mark 9:35
For all the benefits of logic and reason, there is sometimes more wisdom in contradictions and irrationality. Leaders lead and are supposed to be out there in front. And yet, Christ tells us quite the opposite. He uses a child full of innocence as the paragon of wisdom. On several occasions, He teaches us to find life in dying, to gather our treasures and possessions by giving them away.
This contrarian approach to life and wisdom is echoed in the words of Sheryl Sandberg, whose recent commencement speech at UC Berkeley is going viral, “It is the hard days—the times that challenge you to your very core—that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”
I am going through one of my dark periods right now, the longest and most over-staying in my life. It is perhaps God’s way of preparing me for some great blessing He will be sending my way. Or, preparing me for my final trip home. But four years ago, I was feeling the same way and wrote down these words:
I have been sulking and morose the past several days and nursing a very foul mood. I have been so self-engrossed, seeing only my point of view and feeling only my hurt. In the process I have hurt the person dearest to me. All the days I have been trying to learn and live the ways of God seem to have been wasted and all for naught. I wish and pray that the evil spirits that have taken over my life these past few days may be exorcised from me but I realize that the devil is me. Being good is not easy. It is a constant struggle. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, bang! you lose it all in one outburst of utter self-centeredness.
There have been many changes in my life. But the more I change, the more things seem to stay the same.