“But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.” Luke 14:10 NASB
When Seneca first came to live with us, she had food aggression. She didn’t eat Mallory’s food but she guarded hers with her life. Growls were frequently heard coming from the kitchen. As Seneca became secure in her surroundings, she became the daintiest eater. She takes one tiny bite at a time and savours it. We do still feed her separately in case of any lingering anxiety.
Mallory eats like a normal dog if there is such a thing but Bella is a vacuum cleaner. All food in a thirty foot radius is inhaled and crumbs are sniffed out and devoured. If anything drops from Mallory’s mouth, it’s eaten by the hovering Bella hoping for seconds.
When treats are given out, Seneca waits patiently in the back as she knows she will be last in line after Mallory and Bella. It’s not that Seneca couldn’t push to the front and take on the other two to be first in line. We have seen her execute her rights on Christmas morning when everyone is tired and excited and it wasn’t a joyous Noel. Normally, Seneca chooses to wait patiently while the others rush to be first. She goes last on purpose because it isn’t worth the fight. The climb to the top can be scattered with old bones, barred teeth and flying dog hair.
Jesus tells us not to rush to be first or to sit up front where it will be embarrassing when someone asks us to move back. Matthew 20:16 states, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” This verse is right before James and John’s mother asks Jesus to let her sons sit by his side when he is King. She wants to make sure her sons are in an exalted position. This caused quite a stir among the other disciples. Everyone wants their rightful place and to be honored.
Psalm 84:10 tells us that, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” The psalmist has the right idea. He is satisfied with the lowliest tasks to serve God than to have an exalted position of power.
Are you feeling overlooked at work? Is your service at the church behind the scenes and no one seems to appreciate it? Does no one recognize you or know your name? Whatever your job or position let God exalt you higher. Don’t try climbing up the ladder or over the fence on your own as God can elevate you above anything you could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).