Most of us would like to do something special in life, something to distinguish us. We suppose that we desire it for God’s sake, but more likely we are discontent with ordinary life and crave special privileges. When Israel asked if they should offer some spectacular sacrifice–thousands of rams, ten thousand “rivers of oil,” a firstborn child–the answer was, “He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mi 6:8 RSV).
There is nothing conspicuous about those requirements. It is not a “special” service for which one would be likely to be decorated or even particularly remembered. But it is worth more to God than any sacrifice.
Lord, deliver me from the delusion of imagining that my desire is to serve You, when my real desire is the distinction of serving in some way which others admire.