Focused on Others
I read an article, recently, about a school principal who replaced murals in the school which depicted such people as Mother Teresa and Gandhi. The pictures were replaced with murals of J.K. Rowling and Oprah. Now the point of the murals was to inspire the school’s young people by portraying heroic and influential persons they could look up to. Well, there’s no doubt J.K. Rowling has impacted our culture through her Harry Potter books, but in no way is she in the same class as Mother Teresa. So also, Oprah could be considered an inspiring character in our culture today, but she doesn’t hold a candle to Gandhi. Though there are many, the one glaring difference I see in these personalities is that Mother Teresa and Gandhi lived impoverished lives so they could make the lives of others better. Oprah and J.K. Rowling made their own lives better by receiving the accolades of others. I ask you, which two best illustrated what Jesus did? I remember the words of an old song which said:
He left the splendor of heaven, knowing His destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha, There to lay down
His life for me. If that isn’t Love, The ocean is dry,
There’s no stars in the sky, And the sparrow can’t fly
If that isn’t Love, Then heaven’s a myth,
There’s no feeling like, this If that isn’t love.
In John 10:10 Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus impoverished Himself even to the point of death that we might not just have life, but have it to the fullest extent of its meaning. The question must be then, if our lives were a mural would they fit better among the murals of Gandhi and Mother Teresa or would they more closely resemble Oprah and J.K. Rowling? Again John’s gospel tells us what Jesus thinks about it. In
John 8:31 He said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.” There can be no misunderstanding what Jesus meant by that. He meant it in not just a doctrinal sense, but a practical one as well. Jesus was ALL about other people. His compassion extended to their physical as well as spiritual needs, and He has commissioned us to continue that compassion as His hands and feet. His hands fed the multitudes and His feet walked to where the needs were the greatest, even to the cross of Calvary, and that is what He has called our hands and feet to do. The truth is, we are each painting a mural as we live our lives. Where does your mural hang today?