Making a mark

Colin Lane

I have a confession to make. When I was a teenager, I was a graffiti-ist. Using any surface I could find-school walls, railway stations, shops, bus shelters, fences, I would scrawl my nickname.

Now as a middle-aged man with teenage sons, I cringe in shame and embarrassment when I think of this immature boy skulking around with a black texta concealed in his pocket, looking for the next place to record his name. I guess it was really a poor attempt to be known, to have my name recognised, and to achieve notoriety and fame.

Even today, this desire lingers. I can still find myself seeking to be recognised, to be admired, to have a degree of fame.

I think there's a bit of that in all of us, if we're honest. It is really tough to be truly humble, to not seek recognition and admiration. Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, make it easy to broadcast about ourselves.

One guy got it right though; Jesus was as humble as you could get. On many occasions He told those who were on the receiving end of His miracles to not tell anyone. Jesus never sought power or fame, or even recognition. When He rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, He chose a humble donkey.

If Jesus was the Son of God, as He said He was, it is even more incredible that one with such power and authority was born to poor parents, in a stable, in an animal's food trough. From birth to death, Jesus was Mr Humble.

The Bible contains a promise that those who follow Jesus as Lord of their lives will receive the Holy Spirit, who will make them more like Jesus: less self-seeking, more willing to do good deeds anonymously, showing kindness and compassion anonymously rather than putting our names up in lights.

Or on walls, or fences.

It feels good when we've done something noteworthy that no-one else needs to know about.

As a boy, I wanted to be known far and wide, and see my name everywhere. Now as a Jesus follower, there's only one place I want to see my name – in the Book of Life, when I check into heaven!

Courtesy Warcry, magazine of the Salvation Army.

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