Growing up, my dad, my brother and I would often take walks on our farm late on Sunday afternoons. As I have shared with you before, we were not allowed to hunt or fish on Sunday because that would be breaking the Sabbath, so we were relegated to walking around instead. My dad, being the fearless leader that he was, always walked first, my brother second, and then I would bring up the rear. My brother, ever the tormentor, would frequently remind me of an old snake story..."The snake looks at the first one, smells the second one, and bites the third one."
When he would say that, I would go running past him, and would catch up to my dad, walking right beside, if not just ahead him. That made me feel safer, but it often led to me scaring off any wildlife we would see because most 7-8 year-olds are not particularly stealthy in the woods. My father would always fuss at me, "Get behind me." I realize now he was doing this for my protection, and for his sanity, but I could not grasp it at the time.
In the text for Sunday, Matthew 16:21-27, Peter, who had just declared Jesus as, "The Christ, the Son of the Living God" is reminded of his place in line. Once Jesus begins telling Peter of His imminent death and crucifixion, Peter jumps ahead and says, "Never Lord...not you, I will not allow it." Jesus replies, "Get behind me Satan, you are a stumbling block to me...you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
Peter forgot his place, and put his own human aspirations ahead of his calling from God. He wanted his own will to be done and in doing so, stepped out of God's will.
Have you ever made the mistake that Peter made? Have you ever gotten so full of yourself that you emptied yourself of God?
Needless to say, we have all gotten out of line. We've done it with God, we've done it in our families, in our schools, and in our work places. And what Peter had to do, and what we have to do is to humble ourselves, and follow the leader. We have to put our pride and our own ambitions aside in our service to God and to others. We have to say "Not my will, but your will be done." (Remember, even Jesus would say those words in the Garden of Gethsemane. ) It is not easy, but humbling ourselves is necessary if we are going to be Jesus' followers.
Think on these things as you prepare your heart for worship this week.
So happy to see the Braves doing well...winners of 5 of the last 6. Uggla has 30 home runs this year...most for the braves since 2006 when Andruw Jones hit 41.
The Dawgs are getting ready...less than 2 weeks until kick off. I cannot wait to see Isaiah Crowell running the ball behind that powerful offensive line.
The Falcons are getting tuned up...looks like Julio Jones may be as good as advertised. They will get a stern test in their preseason game with the Steelers this week.
Can't wait for Football Friday nights which begin very soon. Looking forward to some great football from all our local teams.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I may go out and watch a little bit of the golf tournament at Hawks Point this week...it will be just like the Masters I am sure.