When I was young I always strove to be the teachers pet. I wanted to be on the inner circle of the people I admired. I think everyone wants to be on the inner circle to one degree or another. It's all a matter of whose inner circle you want to be in.
I was reading the parable of the sower today from the gospels and it struck me that I wanted to be on that inner circle. Mark 4:10-11a says "When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them,..."
There were so many people around him when he told the parable he had to sit in a boat to keep all the people on the shore. Later, when the crowds had left, He explained what he meant. The thought popped into my head as I read this that I would be that person hanging around just to be on the fringes of the inner circle. Just to catch the secret inner moments, the behind the scenes. You see, I'm insecure but tenacious. I serve and help and clean and just keep hanging around until everyone leaves.
Being a teachers pet usually has some negative connotations. "Brown noser", "suck up"; I felt the stigma when I was young but I much preferred the company of my teachers and other adults. I'm sure I enjoyed some preferential treatment but honestly I was just trying to survive by not having to interact with my peers. As I got to high school my tried and true teachers pet role was no longer available. Other people were already in the inner circle and there was no room for me.
As I read the parable it occurred to me that it is good and right to want to sit at the feet of Jesus. To want to be a part of His inner circle. To be where He is and listen. I want to strive to be in His inner circle without questions of rank or importance. The inner circle isn't a privileged class to fill our chests with pride. It is a necessary place to be if we want to understand. In this moment I feel like I am in the inner circle. My earnest desire to be near Him has drawn me close. I am sitting on the edge of the firelight and listening to my Savior explain, and it is a glorious feeling.