“Last one there’s a rotten egg!”
To my older kids, this was just a fun way to instigate a race from the car to the front door when we got home from somewhere. To my youngest, this was torture. He hates to lose anything. And being the smallest, he was always the last one to the door.
He also heard it wrong and thought they were saying “a rotten pig.”
After a few times of always being the rotten pig, he began to get very upset. To head off a full-flown temper tantrum, my husband and I acted quickly. We told him it was a good thing to be the rotten pig. We acted excited that he was the rotten pig. Thankfully, our youngest decided to go along with that.
It became the best thing to be the rotten pig. The thrill of racing to the door wore off, but for years the last one in would still gleefully say, “I’m the rotten pig!”
One of my favorite passages of scripture was written by Paul in a letter to the Philippians:
Not that I speak in respect of want:
for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am,
therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:
every where and in all things
I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry,
both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
A lot of the discontent I feel is really just a matter of perspective. I commute 2 hours a day, 10 hours a week. That eats up a lot of my time. Yet I love my job and really feel like I was led to it by the Spirit. So I try to look at the hours I spend in traffic as an opportunity to listen to music, uninterrupted, which, believe me, is a good thing. Like being the rotten pig.
Of course, there are deeper, more serious things I am unsatisfied with in my life. Things I won’t outline here. And I’m beginning to think maybe these things aren’t in the plans for us. I haven’t given up hope, but I’m trying to adjust to the fact that some things just might not happen. I have faith that if it’s God will, then these things will come to pass. And if not, I need to be able to accept that.
I am trying to be both full and hungry.
To abound and to suffer need.
To me it’s related to that paradox of losing your life to find it. Basically, if we humble ourselves and turn to Christ, we will abound. There’s a wonderful sense of—not pride, but something almost similar, when we know we are following God’s will. When things fall into place because we’re humble and God has blessed us. I’m not sure how to describe the feeling, but it is a sense of being full, of abounding. But it only comes when we’ve abased ourselves.
That’s why I love the last verse: I can do all things—through Christ.