Every one wants to be famous. If you don't believe me, ask a bunch of elementary aged children what they want to be when they grow up. Answers will range from noble (policeman, fireman, doctor) to spectacular (professional athlete, rock star, actor/actress).
While you might find a kid who wants to be the ice cream man, you'll never find one who wants to be a lifetime Dairy Queen employee. Some kids dream of becoming the president of the USA, but none wish to become a crooked politician. I would doubt you could find any who wants to grow up to spend their lives stuck in middle management, work one meaningless job after another, or be a career telemarketer.
The existence of such jobs not only tell me of their necessity, but also of a tragic loss of hope on a nearly unimaginable scale. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood we have forgotten how to dream. Perhaps it is the nature of our modern education system, one that sacrifices creativity on the altar of financial burdens. Perhaps it is just a simple change of perspectives as we get older.
My own career ambitions went through many phases while growing up. In fifth grade I wanted to be an astronaut, in junior high I wanted to be a rock star. I studied engineering throughout high school and planned on doing the same for college to eventually become an architect. After high school my hopes were to become a radio DJ, one of the funny ones with their own morning show. Now, more than a decade later, there is still that little boy inside of me who wants to be a rock star.
Every one wants to be famous. How is it that such a longing can be so ingrained into the very fiber of human nature? Is this yearning for the limelight wrong? This desire to be someone?
I believe those aspirations are very much a part of the God-shaped hole that each of us are created with. We try to fill that emptiness with fame, power, popularity, notoriety. With selfish ambitions, the spotlight can be a very dangerous place. But God fills it with His Glory. "for it is God who works in you... to act in order to fulfill His good purpose." (Php 2:13) If God is at work in us, then it is His purpose for which we do all things.
But would God allow each of us to be famous? Of course. But how?
"Do everything with out grumbling or arguing" (Php 2:14) No one likes a whiner, but God rewards those who keep a good attitude in all that they do. And what do we get out of it? "that you may become blameless and pure, 'children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.' Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky." (Php 2:15)
I love that last part - that we'll shine among our generation like stars. In one of Charlie Peacock's songs he sings "I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens." Shining like stars. Does that mean we'll be recognized everywhere we go? No. But for the people that God puts in our lives we should be famous - though it shouldn't be us, but the light inside us that is instantly noticeable. When we share that light, that hope, whether it is on stage in front of a thousand people, in a coffee shop with a group of friends, or with a stranger at a bus stop, to them... we are famous. Not for our own glory, but for the glory of God. "Then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain." (Php 2:16)
Keep your dreams. I do. Maybe some day, I'll actually get paid to write. But I will be famous, even if it is only in the eyes of those who see Christ in me. It is worth the effort, to be a star.
(Originally posted on What's Inside on 7/8/06)