“So the last will be first, and the first last.” (Matthew 20:16)
And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)
“But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 9:10-11)
The culture of the late 20th and early 21st century America is an individualistic and self-promoting culture more than any other culture preceding it. We look out for number one and make sure we have the best for ourselves. Yet, the number of suicides and cases of severe depression are rising and rising.
God recently impressed upon me, for a period of time, that I shall be last. I received the last seat, I missed out on opportunities the person right before me was given, things ran out right before I got to the front of the line. This took place consistently for a couple of weeks.
After the first few events I finally realized that God was speaking to me, giving me a message; that I shall be last. When I realized that this was a message to me from God, I embraced it. I changed my perspective and began looking for opportunities to be last. I gave up the best seat and took the last seat. I kept quiet allowing others to speak. I made sure others received what was being given out without thinking about whether or not I would receive any.
What I found was pure freedom and joy like I have not experienced as the individual, self-promoting American consumer that I have grown up being.
I don’t have to be frustrated by trying to get what I want. I don’t have to be anxious thinking they will run out before I get something. I don’t have to be jealous of what others received. I have the peace and joy of knowing that I stand with Jesus at the back of the line.
Being last is counter-cultural, just like everything else that Jesus called his followers to. That is how He is and when we embrace His ways, we find the peace that surpasses all understanding.