Let me see if I can get this straight. We have Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner in the news, we have the Bachelorette picking her man this week, and we have Donald Trump, oh and don’t let me forget Blake Shelton and Miranda, his soon to be ex wife. Soon it will be about the death of a famous daughter whose mother died much the same way she did. I am sure I am forgetting others who are trending this week. What do all of these have in common? They are making the headlines. They are in the news, in fact that seems to be all we are talking about. These are some stories that grab the headline and we just can’t let it go.
My question is this what happens to these folks when they are no longer the big news story? What happens when the lights go down and they are by themselves? What happens when it is no longer all about them? You and I both know at some point something bigger will come along, someone else will take their place in the news and they will soon be forgotten or just maybe we will get tired of hearing all about their lives and turn our attention elsewhere. How will they handle things then? Who will they turn to after it’s dark and they are all alone? For some the more they get talked about, praised for what they are doing, the more press they get the higher they go, but one day it will all be taken away then what?
Maybe some of these or all of these folks have God in their lives. I really hope they do, if they don’t I really feel for them. When it comes down to it, it’s not really all about you or me; it’s all about God and what we do with Him in our lives. When I am all alone and it’s quiet I reflect. I reflect on what’s going on in my life. How have I treated people, what kind of effect do I have on those around me, what am I teaching my children and grandchildren and the list of reflective questions go on. God also speaks to me in those quiet times. I know when I am standing in God’s goodness and I know when I have messed up. He lets me know. I wonder if they are ever reflective. Do they care about the persona they are leaving behind? Do they care about what they are teaching those around them? Or is it all about the applause?
Popular opinion changes like the breeze, and when we place too much importance on it, we are setting ourselves up for an endless string of disappointments. As long as we pursue popularity as a means to happiness, we are flirting with idolatry. When we find our personal worth in anything or anyone besides God, we are creating an idol. An idol is whatever or whomever we use to meet deep, heartfelt needs that only God can meet. Are we creating idols for our younger children by keeping these folks and others in the news? By lifting them up and making them out to be more than they really are?
This is my personal opinion. I have no basis for my belief nor do I have any facts to back me up. So take it for what it’s worth. Brue Jenner is a retired American athlete known for winning the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics. I remember all the hype that surrounded him. He was somebody in his day, but the world went on and years followed. I don’t remember hearing about him until the Kardashians came along. Now, call me naïve, but I am still not sure what made the Kardashians popular or how they came to be, but they also have made a big splash in the news. Bruce has now become a no body while his family has come into popularity. Now, I am thinking Bruce sat there one day and wondered what happened? How could the world forget me an Olympian who won a gold medal? Why are they so popular and I’m not. What can I do to shake this up, turn it around? So he decides he wants to be a lady. Well, that will really shake up the world and he thinks to himself, “I will be back in the news.” He did what he set out to accomplish and that was to be on the front page; be back in the spot light.
Think about all the child stars that made it when they were younger, but as life moved on so did their approval. They became nothing and lost in space. So many of them turned to alcohol or drugs, or whatever it took to soothe the pain.
There is more to life than all of this. There is more to life than being on top. There is more to life than having people notice you and lift you higher. So many have found the higher they go the harder they fall and it hurts.
It can happen to each of us; it just doesn’t happen to the stars. It can happen to each of us if we aren’t careful. We are given a position, a job, we are popular with all the right people, we are successful, then pride begins to slip in and before you know it we are thinking pretty highly of ourselves. We are puffed up and nothing can let the air out of our balloon, then it happens. 1 John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” It soon becomes about what all I can accomplish; you strive harder to do more things so you can accomplish more, so you can get more compliments so people can look at you. But at the end of the day when no one is around who do you see? Do you see God looking, watching, approving or do you see a stage that is empty with no lights and no people in the seats? Is the silence defeating?
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1-2; The Message) We are never to become so well adjusted to this world that we fit in without even thinking about our actions. We are never to want the applause of the crowd more than the applause of God. Having God say, “You did good” would mean more to me than having the crowd stand and cheer for me because at the end of the day when the crowd goes home all that’s left is me and God. When there is no more spot light, no more standing ovations, it’s just me and God.
Galatians 1:10, “Am I trying to win over human beings or God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I wouldn’t be Christ’s slave.” God may very well lift us up to a position of importance, but it is who we honor in that position that makes a difference. We can give God all the credit and stand in silence as He receives the glory and honor or we can take the credit for ourselves and enjoy all that encompasses but just know someday our position will end and we will be judged for how we handled what we were given.
At the end of each day we must ask ourselves some questions. Did I please man or did I please God? Was it all about me today or all about God? Did I give God the credit and praise He deserved or did I take it for myself? It’s not all about us; it’s all about God and how we respond to not only Him, but what He’s given us to handle.
Are you in the limelight or are you standing in the shadows as God receive all the praise and glory?
Dear God: Forgive me when I take the praise when it should really go to you. I know I could not do anything without you doing it through me. It’s not about hearing the applause of the crowd or the cheers of those wishing me well; it’s all about hearing you say, “Well done my faithful servant.” Let me not become so ingrained in this world I forget that this is only temporary. Remind me daily you are what it’s all about; it’s not about being popular or being with the in crowd, it’s about being happy with what I’ve done at the end of the day and the way I have lived my life for you. I step aside and allow all the praise and glory go to you. Amen