I was watching a little of the Golden Globe awards last evening. Everyone is dressed up, there are five or six nominations for every award, and everyone is smiling as they cheer for the winners. At one point I thought, “how strange it is to have to be the ‘best’ when you are surrounded with a room of musicians, actors, and writers that are all people of excellence.” And yet, we seem to value people who are extra special, set apart from the others; the talented, the powerful, the strong, the “#1’s.”
God does not seem to have this same fascination with success, power, awards, and honors. I am thinking of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 that says,
“Now remember what you were, my friends, when God called you. From the human point of view few of you were wise or powerful or of high social standing. God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. He chose what the world looks down on and despises and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. This means that no one can boast in God’s presence. But God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By him we are put right with God; we become God’s holy people and are set free. So then, as the scripture says, ‘Whoever wants to boast must boast of what the Lord has done.'”
I used to have a hard time wrapping my head around that one. God thinks about most things differently than we do; he looks at people differently than I tend to. One day this came to mind while I was sitting at my desk. As I looked around I saw all kinds of normal desk stuff: pens, paper, paperweights, thumb drives, highlighters, computers, etc. All of these items are utilized in my work every day; yet if someone asked me what I need for my work, outside of the computer I would probably not think to mention any of them. I could give an award to the computer for being the best help in my work, yet then there would be little consideration given to the drink of water that keeps me going, the pen that is needed to sign the paper coming across my desk, or the sticky note that helps keep me on focus. Little things, normal things matter. In our day we are often more taken with the special, the great, the difference-maker, or whatever other name you want to give to the noticed and promoted. God seems to be fine with loving and working the wonders of His love and goodness through the normal, everyday stuff and the normal, everyday, ordinary people who follow Him.