15 Minutes of Fame

Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips.
— Proverbs 27:2

Daddy, watch me do this!"  As a father of four, I heard those words many times when my children were young and vying for my attention.  It was always followed by one of them showing off some new skill or technique they'd perfected, hoping that I'd notice.  As a father, I reminded myself often that though their attempts were clumsy, their fragile egos needed my attention and validation in order to grow.  

We never outgrow the need to be noticed.  

Everywhere you look people are wanting their "15 minutes of fame" in the spotlight.  In fact, I think it's what drives the antics of people like Miley Cyrus and Kanye West; an insatiable desire to be noticed and admired.  And unfortunately what's behind many of the violent acts we see in our world today.  People want their 15 minutes at any cost.

Where do you go or what do you do to get noticed?  

People today want to be seen.  Whether it's in fashion or social media, our culture is attention starved desiring recognition.  Why? Because it's built within us. Hardwired by God into our emotional makeup.  He too wants to be noticed and appreciated.  That's why He longs to be worshipped by you and me.  

The difference between God and what's happening in our culture though is in the places we go to get noticed and the motivation behind it.  God wants to be noticed for relationship.  After all, who doesn't want to be noticed by the ones they love? And since God loves us deeply, He longs to be appreciated and admired by His children.  So He seeks out our attention so that we might know Him, not to find His own self worth. 

However, we want to be noticed, not for relationship but for value. We want to have a sense that we matter in this world. That's why people will use cultural mediums for getting noticed like social media or the 24 hour news cycle.  We are desperate to find our sense of self worth in this world. 

So how do you get to a point where you don't feel it's necessary to "toot your own horn"?  Solomon says it's better to be praised by another than yourself, and that's true. But I've learned that people's admiration is fleeting and short: 15 minutes.  The less I put my value in the hands of others, the better I am. 

The most important admiration in the world comes from our father; our Heavenly Father. His attention isn't fleeting. His praise and love isn't situational.  And He demonstrated the depths of His love for you on the cross.  That's why Wisdom has shown that the more time I spend seeking to be noticed by God, I grow less and less hungry for the praises of man.  

I don't think I'll ever not want to be noticed and appreciated, at least by the people that are most important to me.  But I'm working towards getting my Father God to notice me more and more. Yeah, my clumsy attempts fall far short many times of where I think I should be. But I know my daddy is watching and I want to want to live daily for only His praise. 

Our prayer: God, see me.  Notice me today and help me to long for only you. 

Mark Canfield