Awestruck and Caught Up in the Glitz
“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” 1 Peter 5:4
This past weekend was my pageant. I must say, I was very proud of myself; I overcame many personal issues and I surprised myself. I was very happy with my performance. I came to find out that I love pageants and that it is something I enjoy doing, like my love of the fine arts (art, dance, singing). It allowed me to express all of those things as well: I had to be creative in my performance, got to dance some—no singing but plenty of talking. To my initial surprise, I did not win, and I did not even place. But even with that, I am proud of myself. I saw a lot of people crying about it, but I did not have a reason to shed a tear; I did what I went out there to do. I did an excellent job, but more so I got what I entered the pageant for and grew as a person during the process. Why be sad when I got every single thing I asked God to give me through the process?
You see, many people do things for different reasons. For example, you may take a particular job for the money, you may volunteer for the hours, and you may join an organization for what it can do for you. Or, you may take a job because of your passion and desire to do that particular type of work, and you many volunteer simply for the love of what you are doing. I have learned that as varied as we are, we all tend to do things simply for the ‘glitz’ and with no true passion, and this always leads to failure.
As children of the living God, we have already been promised a crown. God has chosen to redeem those of us in Christ when He returns and will give us His eternal glory. Therefore, why seek out some arbitrary thing for fulfillment—something that can only be given by God? Jobs, titles, friends, family, even relationships will not give you the contentment and peace that God gives. John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” But God gives His peace all through the Bible including in 2 Thess. 3:16, Jeremiah 14:13, Numbers 6:26, and Psalm 29:11. Essentially, I ask you to evaluate why you are doing the things you do in your life. Take me, for example. When I was in high school, I joined the track team to please someone else and to prove a point to myself. When there is no true desire or passion behind your motives, you are quick to fail, hence my quitting the track team to keep both of my jobs and allow myself to study more. After long evaluation, I chose to participate in the pageant to allow myself to grow, to step outside of the box I allowed other people and things of the past to put me in. I won’t say I did not want to win, but it was bigger than the competition and the actual pageant. I overcame my fear of public speaking Saturday night. Let’s be real here, I had to wear a swimsuit, an evening gown, and even dance in front of people I did not know. I had to perform a talent, about a situation unique to me, and give it my all. For me, it was more than winning, because the minute I decided to go forward and do my best while glorifying God I already won. Overcoming my personal hang-ups in order to achieve something I never achieved was a blessing for me. I learned through all of this that rather than have false pretenses or presumptuous goals, that I should instead use this experience as an opportunity to touch someone else, much like my reason for mentoring. Don’t get so caught up in the perks of what you are doing to the extent that you lose sight of your purpose, and don’t expect to maintain the false sense of contentment to last. We are all children of God, so why not use the opportunities you are blessed with to bless the Lord? I say this to say, remember that we already have crowns that we inherit through our being born into the body of Christ. We are royalty and are blessed through our belief in Jesus Christ. As the saying goes, when the praises go up, His blessings come down…
Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11