My wife and my daughter watched the Oscars last night. I assume they did because I didn’t. It’s not that I don’t like the Oscars but more a guy thing. I preferred a movie. But it gave me pause to consider the impact that these awards were having here and around the world. This was a ‘big’ deal. For a few hours, nothing else mattered. Not even politics.
Then I began to wonder what it meant to the actors who received their Oscars. Recognition. Acclaim. And yes, big money. Their name alone will command hugh salaries. But is that what they were after. In our worlds, why do we do what we do? Why do we put the long hours and extra effort into our work and responsibilities. Obviously, not just for the money. We don’t make the ‘big’ bucks.
I looked back in God’s Word to understand that motivation and found a disturbing verse. It comes from Solomon who was best at what he did. He wrote, "I observed that the basic motive for success is the driving force of envy and jealousy!" Ecclesiastes 4:4 (LB)
I didn’t enjoy that insight and had to review what drives me or you. Are we truly just driven by our envy of what others have or enjoy? Could our efforts be so shallow?
Thankfully, Solomon wasn’t finished with that thought. In the book of Proverbs, he offers a contrast for this greedy motivation. He writes, "A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life." Proverbs 113:7 (MSG)
There are actors that do their work the best they can irregardless of awards or recognition. They do what they do because that is what they love to do. They don’t do it for the hype or the glamour. They never let the lights go to their head.
We should be much the same. And we do. You go through your day to day existence and few but those who know you realize what all you do. Except God. He takes great interest in what you do each day and the level of effort you put into it. In heaven, He will recount all those unseen moments with us with the attention this world cannot give. What a day that will be!
But for our patient sacrifice, He gives us something now. He gives us a full life. He lets us experience all the things that last like love, faith and hope. He surrounds us with those we care about and gives us the chance to bless their lives. And that is the greatest satisfaction. It’s the gift of a clear conscience and an uncomplicated life. We don’t have to worry about people expecting another Oscar performance. We don’t have to worry about being labeled a one-time wonder. We get to go and do this again today and tomorrow and tomorrow.
So celebrate you rather plain and simple life. It comes with something better than an Oscar. It comes with fulfillment.