“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
Last week that verse stuck out to me, as verses tend to do at particular times. For whatever reason, it was a fresh reminder that my life is not my own as I was bought with a price by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. In a similar way, God calls us to be living sacrifices for whatever purposes God deems necessary to carry out His plans. I am attracted to the idea of being a living sacrifice; the imagery is very humble yet noble. It drums up visions of holiness, propriety, and serving God with all I have. Sign me up Lord! I will be a living sacrifice for Your purposes. As with many things, God does not usually do things the way we envision them to be done and my latest experience is testament to that. God’s choice of sacrifice turns my imagery from humble to humiliating and the noble to looking like a fool.
Two weeks ago I sent a sympathy card to the family of someone I work with. The death, from what I understand was quite tragic and affected this family significantly. Using a specially chosen card, I wrote out a sentiment on behalf of the office, hoping it would at the very least provide some comfort in the fact that we all were thinking and praying for them. Well…today the staff member who received the card approached me and let me re-read what I had written. “We want to extend our insincerest sympathy to your family at this time….” I looked at it, and my head dropped at couple inches as I looked at it closer. My mouth was wide open and I was speechless. Why on earth would I have said that?! I was mortified. All I could think is that I started writing one thing and then changed direction with my thoughts and ended up with this horrible gaff. Of course I quickly apologized and proceeded to try to make up for the hurt I most certainly caused. But this person interrupted my efforts by saying that although they were surprised at first by what I had written, it eventually made her and her husband laugh, which is exactly what they said they needed at that time. She reassured me that she knew my heart and that they understood it was purely a mistake, but one that made them laugh under otherwise very difficult circumstances.
Ok God, I said make me a living sacrifice not laughing-stock. I don’t hate very many things, but I HATE looking like a fool and that is certainly how I felt. Yes, I’ve had my share of being the fool but that was due to my own selfish, sinful choices, but in this scenario I was trying to do something kind and dignified! It didn’t take me too long to be able to laugh at not only myself and my snafu, but to smile in disbelief in the way God uses all means and methods to care for others at the same time as teaching me.
Yes Lord, even though I had not even entertained the thought, I will be a fool for You . Amen.