Lessons From My Father

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“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:37-40 (NIV)

A FEW YEARS ago my brothers and I began chatting about things to do before we die. Our ideas were wild and exciting and went something like this:
1. Watch the great migration in Kenya  
2. Trek in the Himalayas
3. Learn ballroom dancing and waltz in Vienna

After a while my dad joined the conversation. We asked him what he would put on his list. He said, when he was young, his list would have been similar but years of living had changed what he would do. His list  began:
1. Find jobs for all the people who live my parents village
2. Provide our gardener with a nice house and a pension
3. Find ways to assist those who can’t afford medical care
I listened to my father and thought about Jesus. I thought about how Jesus wasn’t always out for himself, how he realised that life isn’t a competition and the winner isn’t the person who amasses the most stuff or best experiences. I felt small then and I realised my world revolved around me. My fathers list did not revolve around himself. Jesus’ world didn’t revolve around him (which is crazy when you think he created it). And I do not want my world to revolve around me. I don’t want to live in a world that can only contain me and my stuff and my dreams. I want to live in a world big enough for me and everybody else, a world where I put others needs before my wants. A world where I look less like a selfish little girl and a lot more like Jesus (and my father).

If you wrote a list would it be centred on you or on others? Is there an area or person in particular you feel God is speaking to you about to help?

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