Pick Up the Lettuce
Pick Up the Lettuce
One evening a husband stood at the kitchen counter preparing the salad for supper. All the vegetables laid out, he began slicing and dicing the delectable pieces of his culinary masterpiece. Doesn’t he sound so sweet for helping out around the house?
However, along the way a stray piece of lettuce fell to the floor. Not a major ordeal, right? Yet, instead of taking two seconds to reach down and pick it up, the husband swept it under the edge of the cabinet and said to himself, “My wife will get that later.” So, how sweet does he sound now?
What troubles me about this story is the underlying attitude the husband has towards his wife. It demonstrates a feeling of superiority compared to her, even though it is something as insignificant as picking up a piece of lettuce. To put it another way, he believes himself to be too important to do such a menial task.
When illustrating such a point, we tend to think of extreme cases which no one can argue with. What if the husband had refused to fold laundry by saying, “That’s women’s work?” Or maybe a boss refuses to clean the floors because “I’m the CEO?” We’d understand those better. Yet, you might roll your eyes at the lettuce, thinking this too small an example, but I don’t think so. It demonstrates how the big things start, in small, nearly imperceptible moments. Pile up enough of those small moments and you develop a pattern that leads to bigger expressions of superiority, which become those extremes we often think of.
One of the primary characteristics of Christians is our willingness to serve in ways no one else will. Jesus showed us this in John 13 by washing the disciples’ feet, the menial task they were all too good to do. In Matthew 18:4 he taught us, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” To humble oneself is to consciously recognize I am no better than anyone else, therefore, I am not above doing any job…even the seemingly meaningless ones.
This week let us examine the attitudes we have toward one another. Let’s work to rid ourselves of those small moments of arrogance which can pile up into larger expressions of arrogance. In other words, reach down and pick up the lettuce.