A couple of weeks ago I accomplished something new. I received an elite status with American Airlines.
Now it's just gold (which in ad-speak is always the lowest form of reward) but still--faster boarding, quicker access to first class seats or exit rows. I have always been a big Southwest guy, but living 15 minutes from DFW airport has forced a change. We'll see how that works.
But it made me think about how we approach God. Most of us--espesh those of us who grew up in church--have a hard time understanding that there is NO elite status with God. God doesn't give bonus upgrades to us to reward behavior he likes. How many times have I expected to be bumped into first class with God because I've been particularly good lately? Read my Bible every day, giving generously, sharing the kingdom message, voting Republican, attending church, etc, etc.
God has a first class, but it seems to be reserved for orphans, widows, prostitutes, tax-collectors and especially for martyrs. His first class is given out solely on the basis of what brings him glory.
So the next time I think my relative goodness gets me up to the front of the line in answered prayer, I should remember that there are 143,000,000 orphans in the world who just might be ahead of me.