In Texas, wildflower season can be quite erratic. Like our rainfall. And our football teams.
Driving along the country roads this spring out here in Far Western Suburbia, my kids and I comment daily that God is absolutely showing off this year. We've had the most wondrous wildflower season! The flowers so lush and abundant, we find ourselves wanting to cheer God on with unbridled praise. "Go, God!" (Reckon the Cowboys will do as well this year with their new coach?)
And God has every right to show off. He is, after all, God - sovereign over every drop of rain, creator of every tiny bloom, painter of landscapes so breathtakingly beautiful they cannot be adequately captured by any artist or photographer. As His creation proclaims, He is beyond amazing! He, therefore, has every right to show off any time He pleases. And when He does, I am beyond amazed!
So, what gives me the right?
I work hard. I bust my tail to make a clean, comfortable, somewhat organized home for my family. I do my best to provide healthful meals. I encourage and support my husband, guide my children, serve my church and community, love my neighbor, play praises to Him on my instrument and, as a result, honor God as I administer the tasks He has called me to. Right?
Maybe. It sort of depends, really. Because sometimes, I'm really just showing off. And if I'm showing off, who is it really about?
I don't like for people - my husband, my children, my neighbors, my church family - to think badly of me. Many times, that's why I do what I do and strive to do a good job of it...Because I want to present myself to them in a good light.
Boil it all down, this tendency to show off, and what it basically amounts to is pride. Boil any sin down, and pride is usually at the core. But that's for another post.
The opposite of pride? Humility. Far less attainable than we think, true humility only comes through actively knowing God - knowing who He is, knowing what He's done, knowing He is sovereign - and bowing ourselves down in humiliation that we are not, nor will we ever be even close. We must daily seek God's hand as He holds us in the fires that will refine us into the image of Christ's perfect humility.
Sometimes, it's very uncomfortable. Sometimes it means others will hurt my feelings. Sometimes it means I will endure illness or other trials. Sometimes it means I must be silent in the face of persecution or adversity. All to often, it means admitting I'm wrong. In such cases I have the choice to either square my shoulders and jut out my chin or to accept that my rights were nailed to a cross so I can be made perfect in my weakness.
So, I grow flowers in my garden knowing that I can no more create a single flower than I can create an entire universe. The best I can do is kneel in the dirt to care for what He has given me - family, friends, neighbors, a home with a garden, talents, a ministry - and offer back to Him what is already His.
I have faith that He will, in turn, use those things to show Himself off to me. Because He alone has the right to show off, I will continue to praise Him in all things, whether He shows Himself off to me or not.
I have much less faith in the Cowboys.