Here is an unfortunate thing I’m learning about myself:
I want to be impressive.
In the darkest recesses of my heart, there lurks a desire to have people say “wow,” when they see my life. I want my husband to “rise up and call me blessed” and I want it to be because I get a motherload of crap done. I want people to look at me and see a capable, strong, super-human. And it’s because somewhere along the way I’ve decided that’s where my value is found: in doing. I think that if I achieve and accomplish, then I’ll have significance, and I’ll somehow deserve rest (but not too much, of course).
The idea that rest is a command, a way of life God asks me to step into, fully dependent on him, is borderline offensive to me. How will I earn my keep if I’m floating in grace? But all my silly attempts at accomplishments just fade in light of Jesus.
My frantic striving is revealed for the nonsense it is by the way Jesus lived so radically at rest. He moved through his life at such an unhurried pace, even though he knew he only had 33 short years here. I rush and rush, compelled by the urgent, while he patiently tended to the important: the painstakingly slow transformation of 12 guys—a group of friends growing closer and wiser and deeper over campfires, boat rides, long dinners and story telling.
And there’s nothing that exposes my selfish ambition more than my Jesus, Son of God, wrapping a servant’s towel around his waist and kneeling to wash dirty feet.
I am Peter. I protest my servant king, coming to lovingly and humbly wash my feet, because this is the grace that flies in the face of my achieving way of life. Again, John reminds us why Jesus was so at peace: he knew who he was. He was secure in where he came from, and he was certain of where he was going. When we know who we are, we can live at rest.
On this Maundy Thursday, I’m once again laying down my desire to be impressive. I’m humbling myself and acknowledging the neediness of my own soul. I need a Savior who shows me how to live at peace with who I am, my complete dependence on the God who made me and cares for me, washing my dirty feet. Will you join me in that?