I know...You're probably thinking, "Why would I think like a donkey?" After all, they’re known for being wild, stubborn, unintelligent, and dirty, among other not-so-nice things. However, when you see donkeys mentioned in scripture, they’re characterization enables us to learn from them if we look closely. Believe it or not, a simple donkey can lead us to develop better character through a small change in our perspective. Let me explain.
Whether through "the talking donkey" in Numbers 22, or the ones saddled for trips, we can find at least three characteristics worth emulating for ourselves. That is that they are obedient, useful, and humble. I want to highlight the donkey in Matthew 21:1-9, on which Jesus rides into Jerusalem for “Palm Sunday”. Jesus had told his disciples specifically where to find this donkey because it was a part of His plan all along (per Zechariah 9:9) and He knew it would be there when needed.
Can you say the same about yourself? Do you believe that God has a plan for you? Are you where you’re supposed to be when He wants to use you? Like this donkey, it may seem like you've been tied up or held back for a long time, when really, you've just been reserved for the right time. I encourage you to be obedient to God's placement and timing. Stationary doesn't always mean stagnant, especially when God is aligning you to your purpose, no matter how big or small it seems. If this donkey had purpose, how much more do YOU? You're not "just" a man or woman! God has a specific plan for you, but you must obey His process to be properly positioned when opportunity comes.
We also learn from this donkey the importance of carrying Jesus. No matter what environment we enter, we must carry Jesus in with us. Through us, God can spread love, give hope, and shine His Light into dark places. We are of best use when we determine to obey. We must ask God daily to align us to His will for us to carry the weight of His glory in both word and deed everywhere we go.
Lastly, this donkey teaches us about humility. Given the people’s response toward Jesus, the donkey could’ve gone wild for either fear or excitement from the celebration. Instead, he kept Jesus in the position of attention. There is so much power in keeping Jesus as the center of focus, despite the chaos or praises happening around us. We must remember that anything we do is all about bringing Jesus glory and not ourselves. Even as God moves through us by His power in us, we must never take the praises of others as our own. Humility is the place from which all other spiritual capacity grows.
So, there it is...We can learn from a donkey. Obedience, availability for God's use, and humility should always be areas in which we strive for perfection. I hope this provokes you to examine your life a bit closer to become more aware of where you are and what God is calling you to do, as well as what "highness" can be brought down. With the mind of the donkey, you will carry the weight of God with the grace of Christ, knowing that it's all about Him. With that being said, carry on!