It sounded brilliant at first. A turtle did not want to face a cold winter so he decided to move to Florida … warm sun, soft sand, plenty of food. There was just one problem. It was a long way to walk. It would be summer here before he made it there. He was determined, though. He needed the right kind of help. There were these two ducks he knew who lived in the same pond. He approached them with an idea.
“You guys are getting ready to fly south, right? How about giving me a lift?” The ducks quacked in conference for a few minutes and then told the turtle they would help if he could come up with a plan. He had a plan. He found a sturdy cord, made two loops to fit around their necks, and then took a firm grip with his strong jaws. Off they went.
Things were going very well during the flight until someone on the ground happened to look up and notice the strange sight of two ducks flying with a turtle suspended between them. With admiration in his voice, he shouted, “Whose idea was that?” In a moment of regrettable pride, the turtle opened his mouth to yell back, “It was mineeeee”. The poor turtle landed in the soup, and that, boys and girls, is where we get turtle soup.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. In our celebrity-driven culture, people push and shove to get on the stage, in the spotlight, noticed by the audience.
With people of faith, there is but one Audience. There is only one opinion that counts. Jesus was constantly pointing people to His Father, refusing to take credit for the work His Father was doing through Him. He warned about those who tried to seize places of honor and allowing pride to rule in human hearts.
One of His greatest demonstrations of character was His display of obedient humility (Philippians 2:5-11). In the end, it wasn’t humanity’s affirmation that mattered; it was the applause of heaven. Jesus had a different idea – ”Let him who would be first, be last.” He modeled this attitude: “I did not come to be ministered to but to minister.”
Let’s serve somebody today without looking for a pat on the back. Let’s lighten someone’s load today just because we can.