for some reason, this thanksgiving weekend, vh1 was doing re-runs of the show “america’s next top model“. in fact, they had been showing ALL eight previous seasons of the show (i guess to prep for the ninth season coming up). [note: i found all the info for this post in this wikipedia section] when watching the show (my sister loves it…lol), it’s all about who can stand out in a crowd, who’s picture really “pops” and who looks like they know what to do. the show really hits on overcoming your failures to “rise to the top”.
so why am i talking about this (especially since i’m a guy…lol)? well, i was listening to the title track on audra lynn’s “fading” . here are the lyrics:
i have watched the clouds
with ambition’s depth growing in my heart
i have seen the stars
with a love that’s cold, filling up my head
then i felt the pain
of a love so deep it brought me to the dust
then i saw the cross
and a voice said “cry out, show them what this means…”
now that i’m delivered and my body has been broken
You’ve made me as the lowly and my soul has been set free
now that i am dust and You have brought me down to nothing
now that i am ashes, what shall my message be?
we are fading
this is the glory of the cross
we are fading
this is the hope of all the lost
so come and take my dust
come and breathe Your breath of life
come and take my ashes
shine Your beauty, shine Your beauty
good lyrics huh? so i was listening to this song on my way home and i realized that the christian life is REALLY different from the world’s….i mean i knew that, but a deeper realization of that came over me. see the chorus? it says “we are fading” and then “THIS is the glory of the cross”. what an amazing thought…the glory of the cross is that it allows us to fade…it become nothing.
you see, this culture’s measurement on success is who stands out the most and pushes their way to the top. while Jesus’ measurement of success is who can fade the most….who can be the lowest and the servant of all. let’s look at some scripture regarding this:
“whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.” (john 12:26)
“when He had finished washing their feet, He put on his clothes and returned to His place. “do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. “you call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (john 13:12-17)
blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (matthew 5:3-12)
Jesus calls us to a life of secretness…whether or not our calling in life is to serve Him publicly or not. the winners of this “race of life” are those who have lost it all. not saying they can’t be rich or popular…as long as you’re rich in heaven and popular in heaven.
what are your thoughts about “success” in culture and christianity? what other scriptures talk about “fading”? how do you find the balance between success in the world and success in secret?