We live in the age of insignificant significance.
We're frantic for fame. We're starving for stardom. We're desperate to have the moments and snapshots of our lives validated by the public. The collective opinion has become our collective goal. Corporate recognition has become our corporate target.
People want to be remembered one way and not another... but they still want to be remembered! People want to be known for this and not that... but they still want to be known! There's hardly a soul who hasn't graffiti-d their name onto some piece of public property, or etched their initials into bark. We're all looking for ways to leave our mark. To make our names more permanent than our bodies; to make our memories last longer than our lives.
Nearly every product on the market is sold in the name of amplifying, accentuating, and publicizing self-image. The image we worship. The image we idolize. The image we can't get enough of.
And as we try to make a name for ourselves, (or at least find a username that hasn't been taken,) we become more insignificant than ever.
Our biggest fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We're afraid of insignificance, so we parade ourselves before the public eye both on and offline, and soon become more insignificant than ever before. We begin to be described as "generic," "basic," "typical," and "mainstream," which are all ways of saying the same thing: You're Not Special.
It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. If you're not a cut above the rest, you just aren't cut out for anything. We are terrified of being average. It's become so difficult to come up with a 'new' perspective or a 'fresh' thought. And because of that, people shy away from voicing their opinions. For fear of being the generic, basic, typical, mainstream individual, they fade away into the backdrop of the world wide community and shut their mouths.
To the unbeliever, hearing the words, "You're average," makes their heart sink. They look to the ground in shame. They wake up in a cold sweat thinking of all the mistakes they've made before the public eye. They can't escape the nagging titles of "ordinary" and "cliche" that follows them around.
But to the believer, the words, "You're average," should spark a resounding, "Amen to that!"
You say I'm average? Hallelujah! Stop looking at me, and look to my Creator! He has this thing for the underdog. He puts the "extra" in front of their "ordinary." It's His signature move. He roots for the ones who don't measure up in this fading world, and gives them the seat of honour in His eternal world.
And while we're frantic to be known but fearful for our reputation, we aren't reflecting our God. Our mirrors are full of us. We pose and primp and hog the view- and the result is a smudged and dirty reflection of an average human. We block the view of the blinding brilliance of Jesus. But the moment we step away and allow Christ to be reflected- the light cannot be dimmed.
The end of self is where Christ begins.
When we committed to following Christ, we agreed to hand Him the reigns. We signed the ownership of our bodies over to a power greater than our own. We agreed to die to ourselves and come alive in Jesus. And if we haven't done those things, then can we truly call ourselves Believers?
The only reason anyone can have a secure identity is if they've found it in their Maker. The only way anyone can truly become permanent and have their beliefs and actions outlast their mortal lives is if they've resigned from the position of "Master," and have instead become a slave.
2 Corinthians 12:9 - "But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me."
Our own names should never be on our lips. Our own well-being should never be our goal. Our own works should never be on a pedestal. The only name we should ever be proclaiming is the Name that broke death and shattered sin. Our minds should never be set on the economy of earth, but the economy of Heaven. That's where the currency is love, and the income strategy is evangelism. That's where the saints are credited with faith, not dollars, and where the corporate target is salvation.
It's the agenda of Heaven we should be pushing for. It's God's blueprint we should be following. If we've been baptized by the Holy Spirit, then it's our job to resign ourselves to either wealth or poverty- whichever causes His Kingdom to advance. It's our job to accept fame or anonymity, popularity or rejection, comfort or pain, respect or mockery, and ANY POSSIBLE OUTCOME. Whatever He asks of us, it is our job to obey without question and follow behind Him without hesitation.
Because while He may be steering us through the valley, we know that Paradise is coming. While He may be steering us to prosperity, we know that for those who have been given much, much will also be required. (Luke 12:48)
It is our job to make the most of what we are given. Whether our name is written in the history books, or is forgotten entirely after we've passed on, there is a blessed assurance: we are working collectively for the same God, with the same purpose, in the same faith. We are not free agents any longer, we are pawns being moved and directed by the All-Seeing One. So let's remember our insignificance, and rejoice in HIS significance! Let's boast in our weakness, and therefore prove HIS strength!
The mission has always been the same. Sow, water, and harvest.
That should be our only corporate target.