by Andrew Schulz
That Is Enough
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28
Just before Jesus spoke these words, James and John had requested that they sit next to Jesus on his glorious throne, one on his right and one on his left.
“You don’t know what you are asking!” Jesus replied. “Are you able to drink the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink?”
I’ll be totally honest… I’m probably more like James and John than I’d like to admit. I sometimes catch my mind in some grandiose revery, watching myself stand in front of people, spotlights gleaming… They walk up to me later and thank me for my impeccable words and deft wit. Wow. I cringe as I write this. The realization that James, John, and I fail to make is that our place is not on the throne, but in the trenches. To serve (or lead) is not to stand above others, but to take part in their suffering.
“But among you, it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.” – Matthew 20:26
As I was contemplating service, I was reminded of a recent, vivid dream I had. In this dream, I was wandering the desert. I had fallen to the ground, my bones heavy with hopelessness. It was becoming very clear that I could not go any further. There I would collapse and wither. As I felt my last breath escaping, a speck tore through the horizon and walked toward me. He stood over me as I lay there, shriveling. He offered his hand…
“I have nothing to give you in return”, I said.
His simple reply, “That is enough”
Just like James and John, we often believe Jesus is asking for something different or more than what he is actually asking. We think he asks us to wear a shiny facade. We think he asks us to “be ready.” But maybe, just maybe, the only thing he asks us to do is surrender.
When I recognize this truth, the burden becomes so much lighter. I realize that what Jesus really desires is for me to show up. When it came to serving at Makers, I simply said yes to the little things that needed to be done. Need help with lights? Yes! Need help tearing down? Yes! At work, I try to serve my students by being present with them. I fail often, but I do my best to listen intently and let them know that I am with them in their joy and in their suffering. What if these small, yet profound, acts of service could change the world? I’m convinced more than ever that they do. So I will continue to show up. And, as God does, I will try to have mercy on myself when I fall short or feel scared.
Jesus was so powerful, and yet, humble. With his spirit, so are we! And through our small acts of love, we transform ourselves and the world around us. And that really is, enough.