Last week, I turned 40. It’s awful, I know. I knew a few months ago that my wife was up to something. She had asked me a few times about taking vacation from work during my birthday week and checked to see if I had done it. That was a bit of a clue that she had some plans. I had made a comment in passing that it would be cool to have a little get together for my birthday since I really don’t do much for it normally.
I think my last real birthday party was at McDonald’s when I was a kid. You know, back when you could rent out some tables and all the kids got Happy Meals and it seemed super cool to have a party at a fast food place.
So last week, I took vacation. We had some errands to run on Monday and stopped somewhere for lunch and in walked my dad from Florida (I live in Indiana). I was super surprised to say the least. On Tuesday, it was his job to keep me busy and out of our little town for the morning and early part of the afternoon. We hit a few of the spots that he loves to go when he visits and had a nice day. We head back home and the wife isn’t there. There’s a crock pot missing and the instant pot has obviously been used for something. Not suspicious at all. I already had a pretty good idea that there was going to be a small party somewhere, just didn’t know much else.
My wife arrives home and says our son is at a kid’s hangout place in town and we would have to pick him up, but first she needed to run by the church and talk to the youth pastor. She invites my dad in to meet Taylor for the first time and I didn’t really want to sit around in the van, so I walked in to. As I come around the corner of the youth building, I see a bunch of our church family hiding, ready to shout surprise, and surprised I was. I hadn’t expected to see so many people! I was immediately touched that so many had shown up and then I see my mom walking towards me (she’s also from Florida and not in the traveling kind of health). I was absolutely stunned and instantly emotional. Trying to look cool in front of our church family, I had to fight back some tears.
I spend most of my life feeling like I’m not the hero in my own story. I usually feel like more of a background player, one of those “that guys” that you see in a bunch of movies, but don’t really know who they are. Just kind of going through life feeling unimportant.
But on my 40th birthday, I felt special. People had travelled over a thousand miles to see me. My friends, most of whom have families and busy schedules, chose to celebrate with me. My wife had chosen to really go all out to show me how much she cares about me planning all these surprises. I got to be the hero for an evening and it felt amazing.
A lot of times, these blog posts are inspired by sermons I hear at church or books that I’m currently reading, today is no different. When we think of the story of David and Goliath, we often think that our faith makes us as brave, strong and able as David in the face of a Giant that wants to destroy him. He goes against Goliath, facing impossible odds and wins because God is on his side.
Pump the brakes Mario Andretti! You are NOT David! You are Goliath in this story, or at least one of the Philistine soldiers fighting on his side AGAINST Israel. Our sin makes us enemies of God.
The person in our faith who best represents David in this story is clearly Jesus. He stepped up to fight a battle that no one else could. His faith in God regularly made the impossible possible. On the day of His death, He stood before the giant, poised and ready for attack. He launched an assault on the enemy that is out to kill and destroy us. He stood, with no one beside Him, before Satan and defeated him. He created a path to victory for each and every person who had the faith to pursue a relationship with Him. He cleared a path through the enemy army for us to be able to go forth and be cleansed enough to stand before God Almighty.
Sometimes, we have to humble ourselves and realize that we are not the hero in the story. God is the hero. He’s the hero in each and every story, because every story leads to Him. We have to recognize that we have roles to play in the story, but we have to have God as the Super Star, getting the most screen time in the movie adaptation of our life.
It’s all too easy to put our pride before God. To put our desire to be wanted before God. We create idols without ever realizing it. Too often, we idolize ourselves, our ideas, our desires. We need to make sure that God is at the forefront of everything that we do and He will provide us with our needs along the way. It may not always be what we desire, but He knows that it is what we need to survive and move closer to Him.
What is in the way of you letting God be the Super Star of the story?