Ann Farabee: ME! ME! ME!
Every student in school was crammed into the gym for the presentation of the shiny brand new bike that would go to the winner of the grand prize in our fundraiser. Yes, ONE randomly drawn lucky winner!
Estimated 400 students. As a teacher, I prepared myself for the sadness of the 399.
I was a little surprised when the representative yelled to the kids, “WHO WANTS THE BIKE?”
Hysterical children began jumping up and down, climbing on each other, running around in circles, and screaming the same 3 frantic words: ME! ME! ME!
Teachers began to corral the students and get them back to their ‘spot’ on the floor where they had been sitting, as the lone bike awaited its owner.
It became even more difficult when the representative’s microphone once again boomed, “ARE YOU READY?” This was followed by renewed jumping, screaming, and more boisterous shouts begging for the bike, while crying out, “ME! ME! ME!”
Finally, the winner’s name was read! Dead silence. Sighs. Moans. Even tears and some shouts of “Boo! Boo!” This was not going well. Finally, a tiny first grade girl hesitantly went up to accept the huge bike, but not until she whispered into the microphone that she did not know how to ride a bike. She received the free gift, anyway.
400 students? 399 unhappy. Students exited.
While walking back to our classroom, one of my students, who had been particularly expressive in his jumping and screaming, said, “I did everything I could think of to win the bike, but I just couldn’t make it happen!”
Nothing had worked to improve their chances of winning:
*Drawing attention to themselves to be noticed.
*Being quiet to be noticed.
*Working hard to be noticed.
*Not working at all to be noticed.
*Boasting of their biking skills to be noticed.
*Totally lacking biking skills.
None of that mattered. It was a gift. For one.
As I tried to comfort the student as we walked, I kept thinking about those hundreds of screams of, “ME! ME! ME!” and I realized that I often may do the very same thing. No, I may not yell out, “ME! ME! ME!” but I feel sure I sometimes point to myself – even if in my mind – feeling like the more I do, the better my chances are of winning.
God’s Word points out two clear-cut (and totally different) examples of those choruses of ‘ME!’ as being a problem:
*Acts 5:1-11 tells where Ananias and Sapphira died for lying to God and to God’s people by trying to make themselves seem more generous than they actually were. (This is not one of my favorite Bible stories.)
*Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are we saved through faith; not of ourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
We are saved by grace through faith – not by works. Acts 16:31 says if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be saved.
The good news is that there is a bike for everyone – not just for one!
Oh wait! I mean – there is salvation for everyone – not just for one!