the ten lepers & me

This is a picture I have hanging above my computer, as a reminder.

Those are my feet. They were sticking out of a car window last May.

Six weeks earlier, they were propped up on my chair while I lay on the floor next to my desk. Easter weekend was over. Our three services of the morning had just concluded, which had followed a Saturday night service which had followed a Saturday Easter festival which had followed a Good Friday service.

My back hurt.

In the other room, a couple of pastors were gathering their things to head home. Without mentioning the past 48 hours, they began talking about the message series starting next weekend.

I stared at the ceiling.

The biggest, longest, greatest, most exciting, and most exhausting weekend of the year had hardly finished before we were already discussing next weekend.

No time to bask in the joy of what had just happened in our community and church.

No time to rest from the hours and hours and hours of work that went into setting the stage for it to happen.

In Luke 17, Jesus heals ten people who have leprosy. Every single one of them walks away but one. One man who was healed of leprosy comes back and thanks Jesus for healing him.

Jesus responds in verse 18, "Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"

A couple of weeks ago I sat with my roommate, Kim, in our box-filled apartment on one of my last nights there. I was in the middle of packing up my life and moving.

"What a year!" Kim said.
I rolled my eyes in agreement as I thought of all the crap over the past 12 months.
Then Kim said, "Let's talk about how far you've come in a year."


You often hear ministry leaders talk about "celebrating wins." What went well? Where was success? It seems to me that it's much easier to talk about what went terribly, what we need to do better, how we need to prepare for what's next. And all those things are very, very important.

But so is celebrating wins.

Whereas my mind automatically sifted through what went terribly, my roommate wanted to celebrate the wins. She was being like the one healed man while I was being like the nine who walked away.

Because celebrating wins is returning to give glory to God. 

It isn't complimenting ourselves or puffing up our egos. It isn't being idealistic or unrealistic or any other istic. It isn't ignoring the crap or overlooking the mistakes. Celebrating wins is recognizing what God has done. Acknowledging how He has worked. Being thankful and grateful. Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.

It's something that I want to do much more of. I want to celebrate the wins in my life. I want to celebrate the wins in my work. I want to return to give glory to God.

Because sometimes I think God celebrates what He does in our lives more than we do.