Who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8
I stepped up to the podium and handed the blue uniformed man my boarding pass and ID. He eyed the documents, glanced at me, then handed back my documents and gestured towards the nearby conveyor belt and metal detector. I placed my bag on the belt and quickly walked through the metal detector. Retrieving my bag, I waited on the other side of the uniformed TSA security line for my family to finish their screening process. I watched as my husband and son removed their belts, emptied their pockets, took off their shoes and waited in line to stand in the full body x-ray machine. The wait continued as they gathered their belongings, put their shoes back on and reloaded their pockets. I could have gone to Starbucks and back by the time they were done.
I know, a better person would have stayed in line with them, but I had my TSA pre-approved boarding pass in hand and I didn’t want to take out my laptop, remove my shoes or wait in line. I had been spoiled by the convenience of being pre-approved and I didn’t want to go back to the inconvenience of the regular screening process.
As I read Philippians 2:6-11, I am struck by the fact that Jesus had all the privileges of heaven, but he didn’t cash in on them while he was on earth. He gave up his membership in heaven to live among the “regular” people. He relinquished all the conveniences he had as the Son of God in order to stay with us. He humbled himself and became obedient to the will of God. He chose the inconvenient over the convenient. He died to his desires in order to restore mankind to a right relationship with God.
So much of our lives are spent trying to get into the right circles. We strive to gain power, position and privilege. We have agendas to follow in order to achieve the goals we have set for our lives. We like having the annual pass to the theme park, curbside delivery, country club or yacht memberships, a gold MasterCard, or house in the best neighborhood (here in Florida they are gated communities). Our calendars are full and our lives are centered on convenience. Our days are hectic and hurried leaving us little time and space to hear God’s voice or to take care of people.
Jesus calls us to live differently. He calls us to think like him. He calls us to act like him. He calls us to be like him. He calls us to live a life that is inconvenienced for others. He calls us to relinquish our membership in the “me first” club and join the “God, what do you need me to do?” club.
I think if Jesus was flying commercial today he would trade the convenience of being pre-approved for the inconvenience of the slow process of regular security screening just to be with his family.
Next time. Maybe…
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.