Saturday, July 21, 2007

Passing on the plaques ... Toppling all the trophies ...

I don't get it. This does not add up to me. I've tried to figure it out but all of the answers I come up with seem to fall short. I began working at a friends sign shop this past week. They make signs. That's why it is called a sign shop. They also make trophies, plaques, and all kinds of engraved stuff. I don't make any of it. My job is to invoice everything that gets sold, make certain the buyer knows it is done and ready for pick-up and to run the counter. It's kind of cool to be the guy out front. I guess I am a people person because I enjoy it. I'm only going to do it for a while. I have another opportunity in the works that I would like better but both jobs may be about to get over turned by a church I am talking to. That's my goal, dream, and calling.

I'll keep you posted.

But for now I've been working in this sign shop for a whole week. Already I have this question bugging me. The question is simply this...


Why do we human beings seem so driven to honor ourselves? It is mind boggling to read some of the engraved plaques that make their way through the production of this particular store. People get honored for shooting an arrow really well with a bow. Now I am sure this is a difficult feat but come on. A plaque because you can point straight? A trophy because you can pull back a string really far? A ginormous clear acrylic trophy for a guy who worked with kids in a church for a few years? We are talking nearly a hundred bucks here. That is probably bigger than the monthly budget of most youth ministries. And how about the literally hundreds of trophies that go out to kids baseball teams this time of the summer. I think every kid who owns a mitt or a bat gets a trophy.

Isn't this just a little bit over-kill? I could go on but I think you get the idea.

It seems to me that as believers we have something more than a trophy or a plaque at stake. I mean, puh-lease do not ever give me something like that for obeying God. Don't rob me of what I am really after. Trophies tarnish and plaques fade. I am more convinced than ever that I am living for two simple words.

"Well done."

And those words ... they only count if they come from Jesus. The last few years of life have been hard. Really hard. I never anticipated or expected them to be what they have been. The most wonderful mistake I have ever made was when I began praying, "God, do whatever you want to do to make me the man You want me to be." I prayed that fearlessly. I prayed it daily. I prayed it with my whole heart. I prayed it with all of the good intent in the world. And God heard me. And He said ... "Ok." That is when the walls began shaking, the floor began to crack beneath my feet, and the ceiling caved in on my head. I do not know how it all turns out because the after shocks have not subsided as of yet. And yet I have absolutely no doubt that all of the pain and weirdness I have dealt with has been a part of God's response to my simple request.

Growth requires pain.

But please ... no trophies. No plaques. No ribbons. I am going for it all. I refuse to stop now. I plan on following Him wherever He leads on this path. I will not stop until I get it.

I want the "Well done."


Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Ron. In fact, I handed in my resignation letter at my "full-time job" this week, because I feel led, pushed, compelled, called - whatever you want to call it - in another direction and want to "let go and let God". I will remember you in my prayers... it's a scary place sometimes, but I too want to hear those words!