Wanna Be Humbled? Eat Potato Salad
Since word has gotten around Wynne and El Dorado that God has called me to pastor FBC El Dorado I have been surrounded by loving supporters (Wynne) and anxious expectants (El Dorado). Both congregations have encouraged and blessed me beyond measure by their affirming words and hopeful expectations. It has been an overwhelming (in a good way) couple of weeks.
There is a sense in which all these words and affirmations humble me. When people say something, I think: “If they only knew the real Matt;” or, “I can’t believe he/she is saying this after the way I have treated them.” It SHOULD humble me.
But, since I am a selfish and evil human, more often these comments bring out the nasty sin of pride. Thoughts of having the rights to hear nice things and me being needed creep in.
God has a unique way of humbling us, though, doesn’t He?
He did it again (yes, again. . . didn’t I already mention my selfishness?) to me Tuesday at lunch. . . while I was eating potato salad.
Katie’s grandfather went to be with the Lord this past Sunday afternoon – about an hour or so after FBC El Dorado voted me in as their next pastor. We drove to Birmingham Monday morning and the memorial service for Bob Bellows (affectionately called ‘Dad’) was Tuesday morning.
Katie’s grandfather was a remarkable man in every sense. He loved the Lord, loved his wife, loved his family, loved his job, and loved life. He was (and still is) well respected . . . and for good reason. All of the family was there for the service. We laughed together as we shared memories. We cried together. We remembered together. The service was a fitting tribute to a life that blessed so many.
But do you know what we did after the service? We went to the first floor of the church building and ate potato salad. Yep. We did.
And do you know what my family and friends will do after my funeral service? Go somewhere and eat potato salad. When it’s all said and done, when it’s all over, when the preacher has prayed and my body is laid in the dirt – everyone will move on from there and eat a helping or two of potato salad.
The Lord has reminded me of this. An hour after a week of positive and encouraging comments from loving supporters and anxious expectants, a beloved man died. We remembered his life (and always will . . . thanking God for him!) and then ate potato salad. God spoke to my spirit this week and said, “Matt, after you’re gone those closest to you will go and enjoy some potato salad.” That’s His way of gently and lovingly reminding me that life ain’t about Matt Pearson and this world will go on just fine without Matt Pearson.
My life is not to be a pursuit of getting people to think Matt Pearson is everything. My life is to constantly point others to the One who is everything.
Wynne doesn’t need Matt Pearson. El Dorado doesn’t need Matt Pearson. These places and these people (including the author of this post!) need God. My life is designed to reflect His greatness to others.
After all, the One we asked to heal Katie’s granddad was the same One we asked to bless the potato salad. He, and only He, is everything and eternal.