He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. (John 3:30)
Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 22:1 – 24:25
Relate: A guy was walking the beach near Los Angeles one day when he noticed a pile of rubble washed up along the shore. In among this rubbish was an old tarnished oil lamp. Curious, he picked it up and started to rub it clean to see if it might have some value. To his surprise, the old thing began to smoke and right before his eyes a genie materialized. Rolling its eyes and speaking with a very bored voice the genie said, “You have freed me from my eternal captivity and all that. As a token of my gratitude I will now grant you one wish.” This beach walker stopped and paused. Overcoming his shock, and not quite sure he wasn’t dreaming, he said, “One wish? I thought in the stories we always got three wishes.” The genie rolled his eyes and said, “Seriously? Get with the program. We genies unionized a few centuries back and now we’re only required to grant one wish so you better make it a good one.” The beach walker thought and thought and finally said, “Genie. I would like a bridge from here to Hawaii.”
The shocked genie looked at him with eyes all bugged out. Then he started a long, deep laugh. When he recovered, this genie said, “Seriously? You get one wish and that’s what you ask for?” The man was a bit defensive now and said, “Well, I’ve always been real seasick anytime I get on a boat and I am terrified of flying but I would love to visit Hawaii. So why not get a bridge?” The genie replied, “Think about the logistics, man. That’s a long way on one bridge. Am I required to also create periodic places for pit stops? And think about what it will do to marine life. Every few hundred feet another pillar will stretch from the surface to the ocean floor. Who is going to pay for the maintenance on this monstrosity? What if a storm rises up while all these cars are on this bridge? How many will get swept out to sea? This wish is ludicrous. I suggest you think of something else.” The beach walker sat back down with consternation. This wasn’t going at all like the stories. He sat there and sat there thinking and thinking when suddenly, another idea hit him. “You know, I have never been able to understand my wife. In talking to my neighbor he doesn’t understand his wife either. In fact, this is the universal plight of men everywhere. Genie, I would like to be the first man to ever truly understand how the female mind works.” The genie leaned back as if deep in thought and then said, “So, about that bridge, would you like two lanes or four?”
React: Did you ever notice that in all the stories the genie doesn’t get a name? He doesn’t get an identity of his own? The Disney version kind of spoiled this in giving the genie a longing for freedom, but in reality all the genie (jinni, jinn, or djinn) really does can be summed up in five famous words, “Your wish is my command”. They exist to serve others and in that sense, they are very similar to how John lived his life and to the calling of us as Christians as well.
The purpose of all of our existence is to glorify God. As Paul writes, “Everything comes from Him [God] and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever!” When John is given his vision of heaven, he sees those who worship before the throne for all eternity. They lay their crowns before God and then cry out, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive all glory and honor and power, for You created all things and by Your will they were created and have their being.” We exist to bring glory to God. It is our highest calling. How well are we living up to it?
God, be glorified. Help me to learn more and more to hide myself in Your glory. Be seen through my life and take away my pride and selfishness. In every thing that I say, in every word that I write, in every action, through my money, my time, and my work be glorified. You alone are worthy of all blessing and glory and honor and praise. You alone are God.