Friday, April 13, 2012

DEVOTION: Delusions of Grandeur by Marcia Lee Laycock

It was a silly, pre-adolescent movie. The plot involved a group of misfits who wanted to be super-heroes. They dreamed about it, dressed like it, talked the talk and even tried to walk the walk. In the end they do save the day, of course, in a manner that would make all those who love underdogs cheer wildly. But in the end, one of the characters has learned that it’s okay to be “just Roy.” It’s okay to be just a guy with an ordinary name, living a normal life.
We all have delusions of grandeur. We all have dreams of doing something great someday, something that gets noticed, something of significance. We all would like recognition, even a taste of fame. And of course the fortune that comes with it would be nice too. Deep down inside, we all want to be “somebody.”
This common human trait goes back to man’s earliest days. There’s a record of it in the first book of the Bible. The writer of Genesis tells us the descendants of Noah disobeyed God and began to scheme. It seems they wanted to be super-heroes. “Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves...” (Genesis 11:4)
The desire for grandeur is part of us because in fact, we were created to be grand. We were created in the image of God, meant to be as glorious as a reflection of Him can and should be. So it’s natural that we long for it. But like the descendants of Noah, we try to achieve greatness in ways that God does not support. He tells us to serve but we want to be the masters. He tells us to seek spiritual food, the knowledge of God, but we want burgers and fries and everything else the world offers. He tells us to care for the poor and the oppressed but we struggle for prosperity on our own behalf. He tells us to praise and honor Him but we have better things to do with our time. Like the descendants of Noah, we want “a name for ourselves” and it is not the name God has given us.
All the things God tells us to do are meant to bring us the grandeur we seek. They are meant to make us more like Him. The irony is that we will achieve that grandeur only when we submit to Him and be content with who we are. When we discover that it’s good to be “just Roy,” a person living an ordinary life in obedience to God, we make a grand discovery. We realize we are growing into the image of God. Then the grandeur we seek falls in line with the grand creatures we were created to be, creatures who act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God. (Micah 6:8)

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. The sequel to One Smooth Stone will be released in March, 2012. A collection of devotionals for writers has just been released here. Visit Marcia's website.