Have you been the town crier? Have you ever been the forerunner for someone else? Have you been the one who was telling everyone that someone more important than you was coming? Have you tried to put yourself in the shoes of John the Baptist?
Being the person who announces someone more important than themselves is coming is not an easy job. It requires the person to put themselves in second place. That is very hard for us, as Americans, to do. We want to win at all times. We want to be first.
Today’s culture, especially advertising agencies, do all they can to impress upon us that we should put ourselves first. We compete on so many different levels we cannot begin to count them all. We compete in beauty contests, even when simply going to a basketball game. We compete in how bad something happened to us. We compete in how good we are at something. We even compete within the church.
Perhaps we all could take a lesson from John the Baptist. He was doing what he was called to do. He was preparing the way for Jesus. He did his job well. But he knew, and freely admitted, there was someone coming who was greater than him. He didn’t try to put himself in the limelight. He didn’t try to compete with Jesus. In fact, he attempted to avoid any attention given to him.
Putting ourselves second is not easy. It requires us to admit we are not as important as we would like to think we are. It requires us to submit to God and simply be a tool he uses. It requires us to set our pride aside and do what we are called to do. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I pray we all submit to God and his plan for us. I pray we admit we are not as important as we think. I pray each one of us stops competing to be the top dog and simply do what God wants us to do. Submit to God. Be willing to carry out his plan. Stop competing. Start doing. Be second.
Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”