Flashback to the 60’s. She is alone, upstairs in her bedroom with the door closed tightly. Pictures of her idols, “The Monkees,” smile on her from the walls of her room.
Dressed in her most mod outfit, mini-skirt, fringed vest and go-go boots, she dances the Pony and the Jerk to spinning vinyl 45’s on her record player, belts out songs to a pretend audience of thousands but in reality just a few old stuffed animals and forgotten baby dolls. And she yearns for the day when she would become famous.
Her daydreams revolve around that thought. Fame. It would be exciting to be a famous pop star/singer, but what she truly envisions for herself is becoming a sought-after actress, known and revered by millions. When that happens, she muses, everyone will be in awe.
Those who snubbed her now, those who didn’t want to be her friend, and those who didn’t realize she existed would clamor for her attention and she would ignore them. And if that star-studded scenario didn’t occur, she would settle for being a famous author.
Such were the desires of an adolescent girl. To be famous meant you were somebody, not just the average 13-year-old girl who lived a hum-drum boring existence in an average middle-class home in rural America. When she was a famous singer/actress/writer, she thought she might occasionally return to her hometown, just to show people how important she was.
That young, teenage girl was me. Back in the day, I had no clue what real life entailed; I thought being famous was the end all to everything. As I grew up, I realized that wasn’t true.
I imagine most famous people have an inborn desire to become noticed, rich or powerful. Famous actress Katharine Hepburn once said, “When I started out, I didn’t have any desire to be an actress or to learn how to act. I just wanted to be famous.” So evidently, she experienced that passionate desire and brought it to fruition.
Famous is something I am not. My closest stab at being a star actress was the lead role in my high school play during my senior year. The nearest I’ve come to being a singing sensation was performing a few solos in various church choirs and singing ensembles. The only hints at public awareness I’ve managed in the writing world were my byline on articles I crafted in reporter days for a daily newspaper and my little blips on this blog.
Now I laugh out loud at the visions I embraced back then of performing before audiences of thousands. Obviously, I did not embody the passion to fulfill those girlhood dreams of notoriety. These thoughts returned to me recently when I read Dr. David Jeremiah’s book Life Wide Open – Unleashing the Power of a Passionate Life.
As a young teen, I thought my passion was to become famous. I wanted to be noticed and applauded by an audience. That’s what I believed would provide a happy and fulfilled life.
How wrong I was in my youthful zealous daydreams. Real life led me into an entirely different direction: marriage, children, family life, enjoyable work, making the world a better place for one person at a time, and most importantly, loving and serving God.
To some, those aspects of life don’t sound very passionate, but they have been my passion all along. And Dr. Jeremiah’s wise words reinforced what I’ve come to understand. He wrote this in the study guide accompanying his book:
“The strength of passion is to do whatever we do heartily, and the secret of passion is that we do everything as if we were doing it for the Lord himself rather than for man.”
He continues, “Sometimes we think nobody sees the effort we make to work at our jobs, take care of our families, or serve the Lord. Not true! God sees it all. We play on a field with an audience of One sitting in the stands. And He is the only one who really matters. He sees and knows everything we do – the motive and passion with which we live our lives.”
So even back in my foolish days, when I longed for a captive audience, I already had one. The One. The only One who matters. And so do you.
Imagine as you go through your day, there He is sitting in the auditorium watching your performance, sitting in the bleachers watching you play, sitting at your conference table watching you work, sitting on your sofa listening to you talk.
He knows what you’re going through, He sees what you accomplish even when no one else notices and you are weary, and He finds pleasure in all you do for His glory.
On this 14th page in Chapter 6 of my Opportunity book, I find it inspiring to think that I might please my audience of One and that He doesn’t care whether I’m famous or not. I know He doesn’t want me to lose heart while I serve Him in the big things and the small. I hope you feel the same.
“Your life is your message to the world. Make it inspiring.” ~ Lorrin L. Lee