Apparently I have a reputation. After a full weekend of activities & birthdays & flat tires & sports games & conferences, while heading upstairs to put the boys to bed my husband yelled down, "Your award show is starting. Did you tape it?"
It's true. I'm a bit of an awards show fan. Part of the obsession is the beauty...the gorgeous gowns & jewels. I also enjoy celebrating the art of great storytelling. And of course I love watching some of my favorite "famous" faces share one space. (Like seeing my best friend ;) Jennifer Garner cheer on her hubby Ben Affleck.)
Last weekend, like I mentioned, I attended a local mom conference. A conference with a few "famous" authors and speakers hanging around. One author, the beautiful, Melanie Shankle, just wrote a book which debuted #27 on the NY Times Best Seller list (if you watch her promo video have tissue ready...I'm not kidding).
Something inside me puts one human above another because of these statistics. Even if that person doesn't assume this position and is kind (& humble & full of grace...) success still moves people into high positions. The desire to be close to those of high position to pull & push my way to the top.
God knows the heart. He knows the temptation to make my name great, instead of His.
As I drove the 45 minutes in Friday evening traffic towards this mommy conference, I tried to use the time wisely by calling college friends to catch up. But no one answered. So I drove and absent mindedly sang with the Seeds Family Worship CD (cuz sometimes I forget I can listen to grown-up music when my children aren't in the car). My brain started to realize the message God had for me when I sang these words:
“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord stands forever.”
(1 Peter 1:24)
All the "famous" fades away, but the word of the Lord remains. Cling to what stays not the fleeting Twitter feed & Facebook status updates.
I walked into the main ballroom of the conference just as the session began. Settling my purse in the chair I stood to join in this song,
"Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against."
God is stronger and higher. If He is for me what does it matter how many followers or retweets or likes or comments one gets. We are unstoppable if He has a plan for us to fulfill. We don't need to befriend the famous to create a platform...because He holds the world in His hands. We need only rest in Him.
When I wondered "Who am I Lord that you have called me to scribble out my story? Just a mom. Only a speech-language pathologist. Not a writer", Then I read, in His word that lasts forever, when Jeremiah had his own "who am I" moment saying, "I am only a child. I do not know how to speak". The Lord answered,
"Do not say, 'I am only a child' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:7)
I fill in the blank with my modifiers, "I am only a mom". "I am only a pre-med Biology major." "I am only 35 years old." "I am only....".
But He answers, "Don't say that. It doesn't matter what you are. It only matters who I AM. And I am who I AM. And as the great I AM, I will accomplish what I set to accomplish."
In the book of Job, after losing it all, despite his faithfulness, and having friends fail in their attempts to comfort him, he cries out to God. God answers with a list of questions of about who Job thinks he is compared to the almighty God. Job answers,
“I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know." Job 42:2-3
People will fade away (the yearly Oscar tribute to past "famous" entertainers reminds of this fact). To pursue the fame of man is to leave behind the glory of God.
When Quentin Tarantino accepted his award for best original screenplay (aka writing a movie from scratch), he apparently only had one name in his movie credits...his own. He bragged, "I actually think that like.... if people are knowing my movies 30 or 50 years from now it's gonna be because of the characters that I created, and I really only got one chance to get it right. I have to cast the right people to make those characters come alive and hope they live a long time... and boy, this time did I do it."
At the end of my life when the credits roll, I desire one name to be displayed: Yahweh. (Maybe some of His other names: Jehovah Jireh (my provider), El Shaddai, Elohim, Lord, Father, Adonai....but you get the idea).
Lord, keep my eyes focused on you. Following your lead. Waiting on your timing. Promoting You more than myself. Amen.