“Those in the rear come up front, and those in the front…go to the rear.” I can remember a teacher telling our class that very thing… using the exact same words… in about the 9th grade; emphasizing it with the spiritual implications. I’ve used phrase as a personal motto ever since.
Consequently, I always seek out a seat in the rear of the Church, or seminar… or other gathering; as I subconsciously think that God has asked me to sit in the rear until He calls me up front. So, putting others first, is nothing new to me, and thank God for ‘that teacher’ …as she gave me a spiritual foothold, that otherwise, likely….would have passed me by. And, for sure… I don’t want to give satan… a single inch… much less a ‘foothold.’
I remember some 20 years ago… While attending a “invitation only” reception for The Honorable, Senator Strom Thurmond… arriving a bit early with the friend who provided our tickets. We saw an ‘empty table’ right up front and commandeered that table for ourselves. About 20 minutes later, some fellow, who was also an acquaintance of mine, came up with a “RESERVED” sign… and placed it on our table. I thanked him for his kindness, and somewhat embarrassed, he says to me; “Sorry… I’m just now getting around to putting out the ‘reserved placard’ yet… until now… but this table is reserved for ‘special dignitaries,’ and you’ll have to move. So…we moved to the back of the room. Lesson learned….again.
As a sidebar to the story… later in the evening, I found myself standing beside Nancy Thurmond, the Senator’s wife, and asked her if she would procure me the autograph of her husband. She said… “I’ll do better than that” … and grabbed me by the hand and escorted me over to the Senator’s table, and she introduced me to the Senator, along with Colonel Oliver North, and a number of other dignitaries… including the “Godfather of Soul,” the infamous…. “James Brown” of all of whom… accorded me their autographs. So, in a sense… I was called ‘up-front’ ….after all. BTW…. James Brown performed his famous moves for all in attendance to see.
Putting others first… should start early in life…. with our parents, then later… our spouse, and children. This will give us a dose of humility that will serve us well throughout life. I always hold the door open for the ladies…regardless of their age, their disposition, or who else might be with her. It’s a simple act of kindness… which I was taught early on in life. And, 99% of the time, the person on the receiving end, will show their appreciation. Only on the rare occasion does it not happen; and then… that would be their problem… not mine. While now always successful… I try, always, to put others first. It’s not only what the bible teaches us, but it makes me feel good… so, why not?
Jesus teaches us to put other before ourselves in Mark 9:33-37 – They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Further… we are told in… Mark 10:44-45 – And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”