When we have our eyes on ourselves, we are filled with ourselves and lose the potential of being contented.
I will pick on the clergy for a moment, because the love for preeminence seems to creep its way into this profession more than any other. I recently read a fascinating book by Lloyd Ogilvy. He was writing a sort of autobiographical note, as he was commentating on a Psalm.
Lloyd talks about when he was younger and had just graduated from the University of Edinburgh. He writes that he was filled with an immense pride that he had had such a quality education. His church was given to the Scottish clerical garb and he tells of the way he would come in to preach wearing the collar, and the cassock, and the robe, and the hood. He said, “Even when I could get away without wearing it, I would wear the Calvin hat.”
He continues, “In our church services, the choir would file in, in a very formal fashion, and I would come in following the choir. I would follow the choir down the aisle, in a very formal processional, and I would parade like a peacock. I was wearing so much, I had difficulty gesturing when I preached. I was a study of black robed dignity.”
However, something happened that really marked him. He was walking down the aisle and an event occurred that changed him forever. His oldest son, whose name was Scott, had made a hero of Zorro and had the whole Zorro outfit. Lloyd wrote, “As I was walking down the aisle, all of a sudden, Scott turned and looked at me, stood up and flashed his hand, as if he had a sword, and said, ‘Hey, Zorro!’”
That did it! Lloyd said – and, in fact, I think it was very graceful of him – he laughed. He was able to laugh at himself. From that moment on, he was a changed man.
(Stephen Davey’s sermon: Contentment in a Prison Cell at Wisdom for the Heart)