Sunday, November 03, 2013
Sunday Afternoon Tea
For it was held in the Executive Conference Room and I was surrounded by the president and vice presidents of our company.
I was there, along with my boss, to assist these powerful men in a long term planning brainstorming session. I knew many of these men on a first name basis.
While none were what I would call friends, a few were good acquaintances and all had always treated me kindly.
What always comes back to me about that day was the sudden overwhelming panic that they would realize I was a fraud. Instead of a grown woman in a navy wool business suit, I was suddenly the little girl sliding down the corn cob mountain by the grain elevator, laughing as I ended up next to the pig pen across the gravel road from our old farm house.
They would discover I never finished my degree and that I listened to J. Vernan McGee on the radio and that sad country music made me cry and that I sipped the same glass of Riesling through the entire meal at business dinners.
Of course this was silly as many of my co-workers knew I had married and had my first child before finishing my degree so there was no scandal to be had... and they might laugh at my enjoyment of sermons by the old fashioned McGee but it didn't affect my ability at work.
The meeting went well and all were satisfied with the results. So why do I remember it? Because of that The Emperor's New Clothes experience... except I felt culturally unclothed when everyone else saw a young woman who was just fine. It was quite startling...
I wish I could say that was the only time I felt less qualified than those who surrounded me. Albeit no other occurrence was that memorable. But haven't we all felt that way at one time or another? At least those of us who are honest about our emotions and who lay no claim at being egotistical.
I am learning not to compare myself with others although it will always be a struggle. I know it is only human and few make it through their journey otherwise. Perhaps saints reach a point but not artists or poets or writers or mothers or anyone who feels deeply and ponders much.
I feel His disfavor not when I try and fail but when I don't try because I fear. I feel His disappointment in me when I am overwhelmed with unkind thoughts about highly successful people because it seems He has blessed them... more.
It was jealousy that split Heaven apart and the war of the angels began over one who was created thinking himself on par with the Creator. So we can understand why God does not allow comparisons of any kind, for we will either think ourselves better than we are or we will grant others a place which only belongs to the Lord in our life. Stop to think about it... I have.
But there is no need to think anything other than how He sees us.
Have you ever stopped to ponder what Eternity must be like for the God who made the world to become a humble man who makes tables and chairs and bowls with his hands... for you and me?
What is so special about His Bride (that being us) which would cause a God... the God... to leave Paradise for Palestine... to suffer... to die... for you and me?
Why would He become the Bread and the Wine poured out for us so we can sit at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and share bread and wine with Him?
He says you and I are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that He came to "take back the keys to the Kingdom". He... the Lion of Judah... became the sacrificial Lamb of God.
For you and for me.
So the next time I think I'm not good enough or smart enough or wise enough or thin enough or young enough or talented enough or... just enough... I know in many ways I am not. But when I laid my sins at His feet and asked forgiveness and for Him to become the King of my life and Savior of my soul, then He made me more than enough... and you more than enough.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made and we will one day rule and reign with Him. I don't know about you but I think that is pretty amazing. We should ponder all of this the next time we are tempted to compare ourselves to others for better or for worse.
Forever and ever, amen.
Artwork: artist Sally Storch