Sunday, July 13, 2014

Are You Important?

I post a picture of myself to let you know what I looked like as Martha and I took a walk today through Westmont campus to mail a letter. The campus is virtually deserted this time of the summer. Camps come and go during the week, abandoning the campus on Sunday. So as Martha and I walked through, we spotted an SUV with a mother taking a photo of her daughter near the administration building. We both said "Hi" to the women. The mother then asked me/us "Are you someone important?"
I immediately said "No, we are not part of Westmont, but I'm the pastor down the hill at Montecito Covenant Church." We laughed and walked on, but began to discuss both the question and my answer.
The question was nakedly honest. We ask it all the time with our eyes and ears, listening for the hints if the person we are with is important. We drop the names of important people we know, because our proximity to important people makes us kind of important. It happens all the time in our area where celebrities live and are sighted. We find out the important people around us by what they can do for us: teachers and coaches for our kids, politicians for our causes, insiders for friendships.
But answering the question is also kind of curious. Of course none of us admits to being important, that would be arrogant and catty. Not even the president of the college (who I know quite well, making me kind of important) would say he is important.
The better followup question back would be: important to whom? I think I'm pretty important  to Martha, my kids and grandkids. I'm important to the people who depend on me (couples getting married, people coming to hear a sermon).
Today I preached from I John 3:1-10....I'm a child of God. I'm probably important  to God if I'm called his child.


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