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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Am I a Donkey or a Prancing Pony?

Posted by admin in January 12th, 2010
Published in obedience

Sunday’s service was amazing! We heard evangelist Chuck Millhuff speak. This man is in his 70’s, been an evangelist most of his life, spoken around the world and now is the resident evangelist at our church. Still very Hollywood handsome and a very sharp dresser, I wondered what on earth this guy was going to say to us when he entered the pulpit. Daryl leans over to me and whispers, “I heard him speak a few years ago. He’s really good.”

“I’ll see for myself,” I thought. Too flashy. Too good looking for my taste. I’m so non-judgmental you know.

“I’m a donkey!” he declares right out of the box. “I’ve always wanted to be and considered myself a prancing pony. A show horse. But now after all these years I’ve realized that is sin. What God has really called me to be is a load-bearing, hardworking, service animal—a donkey.

My heart was pierced. Immediately I felt the Holy Spirit’s touch on me. It was one of the sermons that, you know, you are certain was written specifically for your situation. Daryl didn’t even hesitate or look my way. He just pulled out the old hanky and handed it over. And yes, the tears came. I almost shook convulsively.

I am a very pride-filled person. Oh, I cloak it in abject humility, but I’m prideful alright. I don’t want to be a servant donkey. I want to be the prancing pony. The beautiful show horse that everyone oohs and aahs over. I like praise and affirmation and compliments and words that assure me that I’m the greatest. It’s awful. It’s worse than drug addiction.

When I was young I had this problem. I guess I’ve had it all my life. But when I was young, I kept thinking my dues would eventually come. Sure they would. Just wait it out, keep training, keep getting more education, keep performing and eventually you’ll be the famous rock star of Christianity you always knew you were meant to be. That was when I was young.

Unfortunately, age didn’t purge me of this despicable sin, but actually has enhanced its flavor…much like aged fine wine or a good wheel of cheese. Why? Because as I’m older I realize the rock star dream is more and more unattainable. The harsh reality sets in and resentment becomes a stinky, oozing sore in my already sin-infected flesh. (Wow. That’s some allegory there sister! A little gross actually. Sorry.)

The evangelist was right. I’m called to be a donkey. A big old donkey girl. Like he said, it was a donkey that carried Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. It was a donkey that carried a pregnant Mary into Bethlehem. Also, let’s not forget it was a donkey that warned old Balaam of judgment and disobedience. It was a donkey that carried Abraham and Isaac to the place of sacrifice. A donkey serves. A donkey works. A donkey carries the load for its Master. A donkey is not flashy or fancy or prancy or considered even very beautiful. But a donkey is a symbol of humility in the Bible.

Am I content to live a life of obscurity? Am I at peace with an audience of One? Do I really mean it when I say, “To God be the glory?” Or are those just words to cloak my pride? God knows what is best for each of us. He knows what we need. And He is more concerned with me being formed in the image of His Son than with my sense of fulfillment and the realization of carnal dreams. I believe that God is more concerned with my holiness than with my happiness. And the odd thing about being formed in the image and character of Christ is we gotta die. Galatians 5:24, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.”

Matthew 21:5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey’.” I want to be a donkey. I want to be the kind of servant to my King that would carry Him into the city and all eyes be on Him and none on me. Today I’m asking the Lord Jesus to forgive me of my dreams of being a prancing pony and to allow me to be His servant donkey. I can only do it through His strength and His work in my life. Only He can transform a prancing pony wanna be to the donkey servant girl He’s called me to be. Peace.

11 users Responded In This Post

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322. Barb Brown said,
January 12th, 2010 at 9:10 am

WOW…that is good. You look so good prancing, though!!

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323. admin said,
January 12th, 2010 at 9:22 am

And see Barb! That’s my problem. I love that you said it was good. I so dig that kind of affirmation. Jesus, please free me. Ugh-a-rama! 🙂

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324. margaret said,
January 12th, 2010 at 9:44 am

next time someone calls me a “donkey”(and they have and I don’t mean Eyore!) I will say thank you!

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325. admin said,
January 12th, 2010 at 9:54 am

Margo: As I listened to this amazing sermon I realized you are the greatest donkey in my life. Thank you Margaret for your love, service, example, and overall donkiness.

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326. Laura Savage-Rains said,
January 13th, 2010 at 9:23 am

The nice thing about being a donkey is that it’s easier to recognize other donkeys and they’re the ones who prefer to hang out with you anyway . . . not those prancing ponies.
🙂

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327. melinda sue said,
January 13th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

teri, i met you over 6 years ago during my time in romania… (and laura too) for just a few passing days, and i think of you (both) often. as a prancing pony myslef, i am humbled by the words chuck shared with you, and the words you in turn shared with us. i need to have a donkey heart, even when i feel liek prancing. thank you teri.

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328. Lisa said,
January 13th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

So if I say you’re one of my favorite donkeys, that would actually be a detriment to you? Oh, the dilemma!

Thanks for the servant ministry you provide in continually provoking all of us. 🙂 It’s good to have that mirror held up (even if it’s a little painful!)

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329. cuzzin j'lynn said,
January 14th, 2010 at 10:52 am

MMM. That’s good. Maybe helps me not to think about myself.

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330. bubbie's mom aka Angie Byler said,
January 14th, 2010 at 11:03 am

What a timely word, although, I am so much like you in this blog that it would have been timely no matter when I read it. How do we really DO this, not wanting to be a prancing pony thing? Because just when I think I am getting good at being a donkey, that pony peers around the corner and grins at me. I have to say I love the gross allegory, being a nurse and all I have seen some bad pus in Africa. I figure if I keep that as the picture of how my pride looks, maybe it will revolt me as much as it does God. Thanks again for being so honest.

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333. Texas sister said,
January 25th, 2010 at 10:49 am

Oh dear!
there you go again, “messin in my bidness” as some of my friends would say.
I’m off to get highlights this afternoon and hoped to have Christie Brinkley blonde.:) A prancing pony if ever there were one. Maybe I should ask for donkey gray. 🙁
just really need to keep the pride stomped on, in the dust, CRUCIFIED
this word convicts me. i need provoking to banish lofty thoughts of myself.
i think it is John 3:30- He must increase,i must decrease? good Word, sister/friend

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335. Jesus loves chemistry said,
January 29th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I don’t know if you got to see it while you were at Urbana 09, but Patrick Fung talked about how we should “Live to be forgotten.” I always need to hear that. Since Urbana I feel like God’s been teaching me how to be small, though. It doesn’t mean the impact is small, but I get to realize that I’m not the one making anything happen.

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