“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” — Matthew 20:16
So we were at Hollywood Studios in Disney World. We had arrived 15 minutes before the gates opened and my little chick and I were hoping to jump on Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster before the line got long. After that, our plan was to ride the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Our plan worked perfectly.
The reason I write this is because of a conversation Caroline and I had on the way to the Rockin’ Roller Coaster. People were absolutely in a dead sprint trying to be first in line. Caroline wanted to do the same. In all honesty, I did too. However, I thought this was a great teaching moment. I brought up the verse for today and asked her what she thought it meant. She made a couple of decent attempts at it.
We talked about patience and how God wants us to be patient. I told her if people can’t bring themselves to wait for a couple of extra minutes for a silly amusement park ride, they probably won’t be able to wait for more important things in life. They will probably marry the first available person instead of waiting on God to prepare their own heart and lead them to the right relationship. They probably spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need instead of being financially responsible. People who race to be first are just more likely to have a “mine” attitude and a “give it to me now” way of thinking. They certainly don’t put others before themselves.
Caroline went on to tell me things that let me know that she understood that patience and putting others before her would be qualities that God would desire in Heaven. Here on Earth, the “me firsts” seem to prosper. Their attitude might bring great short-term gain as well as temporary satisfaction. But, in the end, it will cost them because God will send the person with that attitude to the back of the line. The first shall be last.
As we approached the ride, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I felt that I had just planted a new seed of faith and fostered new understanding in my young daughter. Then, she looked up at me with disdain as another couple ran by us and said, “Daddy, look at those selfish people who don’t know how to be patient!”
I guess that’s another lesson for another time.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:3-4