Wednesday, 2 September 2015

I must become less ...

Achievement, being recognised, being famous, being someone who is noticed and acclaimed are goals that many today aim at. Whatever our profession, walk in life or vocation, it is all too easy to seek recognition and acclaim. Most professions have annual awards given to those who have achieved or contributed in a big or useful way. Most notable are the awards in the film and theatre professions. These goals can become traps that hold us as we seek them and yet feel we have not made it, driving us harder and more urgently and for some pushing them over the edge.

Many achieve amazing things in this life but will never be noticed, will never have a wikipedia entry about them, never receive an award or public acclaim, and actually that is no bad thing. Sometimes, possibly more often than we might like to admit, seeking acclaim can take over. I am reminded of Sheldon in "The Big Bang Theory" and his obsession with a Nobel prize for science. Then of course there is the argument among Jesus' disciples about who would be the greatest and who could sit with Jesus in heaven.

In the Christian world the same forces are in play, famous names attract big audiences and book sales, well known musicians get good media sales. Of course it should  all be about serving Jesus but fame and success can throw even the best off course.

Am I being a little cynical? No just questioning. Recently I was reading John the Baptists' reply when questioned about him and Jesus. "I must become less" or "slip into the sidelines" was John's response. For him it was not about glory or honour or fame. It was about doing well what he was called to do and then fading as Jesus' ministry flourished. His reward would be an eternal one.

The real joy and fulfilment comes, at least for me, in knowing that I have done the best I can for my saviour. Serving him is a joy and a wonder which no fame or acclaim can ever equal or come close to. I am sure the same is true for many, I hope it is so for you. Fame and fortune are fierce-some task masters, but Jesus' tells us to take up his yolk, which is light and easy to carry. In our ordinary everyday lives, the light of Christ will shine through, great things will be achieved. I salute the many who will never seek to be noticed and never will be and yet will do great things for God, the glory will be Christ's - we must be less and Christ must become greater.

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