Consider Pure Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1: 2-3

I am selfish

From the Desk of Kyle

 

Today I had to take Reese McClain to Kosair Children’s Hospital for a quick outpatient test. It’s a routine one that is very familiar to us. In fact I have the routine memorized. You check in with the receptionist and wait for them to call back you up. They give you a digital signature pad and repeat the same thing every time….. initial here and here, sign here, relationship to the child here, and finally sign here. They ask if she has a latex allergy. Then you verify the child’s name and date of birth on the arm band. Then they place the band on Reese and another one my arm.

Now I have very hairy arms and it’s always a delicate operation to get the arm band on my arm without ripping out what feels like hundreds of hairs. About the time I put on my arm band, Reese was getting restless in my arms and we had waited a lot longer than normal. I was frustrated, I wanted to get home, beat rush hour traffic, and watch the USA play in the World Cup. I was in my work clothes and hot from the 90 degree day. Honestly, I just didn’t want to be at this children’s hospital for what feels like the 100th time.

Just then, a little boy with Downs Syndrome who couldn’t have been older than 5 years old, walked up to the nurse and wanted the same arm band Reese and I were wearing. His older brother was there for a medical reason and had an arm band but this little boy did not. The nurse asked his name and wrote it on the arm band and put it on his arm. He was so excited and had such an adorable smile that could light up a room. It was the tiniest gesture and the little boy acted like he had just been given the worlds largest pile of Legos. He got an armband just like his big brother and as far as he knows, this hospital just had a cool lobby with lots of toys to play with.

Sometimes God reminds me that the little things are so trivial in this world but he still uses them to show us of his glory. I almost cried watching that little boy play without a care in the world and with such an innocence that was so heart warming. The same armband I dread to put on every time we visit, is the same arm band that made him feel just like his big brother. As I watched him, I thanked God for all he has given us. I had all the joy around me….the little boy’s smiles, my daughter’s laugh, her laying on my shoulder, and we weren’t even at the hospital to be admitted! Yet I was looking inward instead of recognizing what’s important. Getting home to beat traffic, impatience with a slow hospital staff, wanting to see a soccer match, and just thinking only about myself. Now through the eyes of another special needs child not my own, I see just a brief few of my self centered ways.

It’s so easy to look inward and think my situation isn’t good. It’s also very easy to compare my situation to others and realize it’s not bad either. What’s not easy for me is to quit thinking about myself period. Our society is full of selfishness. We’re told over and over that we need to focus on ourselves with this drug, this drink, this place, this thing. Instead I should choose to be thankful and focus on what’s really important. Giving the glory to God and loving Jesus, my wife, my daughter, my friend, and my neighbor….not myself.

I’ll let you in on one secret though, I’ll still be selfish because I’m a sinner. I’m not perfect and no one else is either. It’s a Genesis 3 world we live in and the only answer is turn to Jesus, confess our sins, and accept him as our savior. Be humble and accept that I will fall short of the glory of God everyday, but it’s through the blood of his son that I will someday live free of sin in the kingdom of heaven.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves – Philippians 2:3

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