I can still see my college-aged self wringing my hands after knocking on the orchestra director’s door. The date quickly approached for a special performance given by a select few senior musicians, and I thought as principal chair I would be invited to participate. But the calendar pages turned and the crickets chirped, so I got up the gumption to knock on the director’s door. And after a commanding Come in! I asked nervously,
“Excuse me for interrupting you, but I wondered if I might be one of the people participating in the upcoming concert?”
His response was cold and brief,
That was it.
No eye contact. No explanations. No don’t-feel-bad-there-will-be-other-opportunities. And as I did a slow about-face from his office door, I uttered these words for the first time,
That’s what you get for exaggerating your importance, Kristen.
It wouldn’t be the last time I said it to myself. And maybe you’ve said it too when you:
Read that Facebook status aglow with details of a party you weren’t invited to join.
Discover that board position you hoped to fill was given to someone not even on your radar.
Believe your presence wasn’t missed at that conference or ceremony you couldn’t attend.
I berate my big self and say something about the size of my ego and my britches. I live in the uncomfortable in-between where my heart desires humility but begs to feel important. I want to shine like a star but I let this fallen world get between me and the Son, believing every missed opportunity and difficult rejection dulls my already lackluster appearance.
So instead I sit in the corner of my messy office in my messy today mentally counting all the reasons why my importance is minimal. And then it occurs to me: My problem isn’t that I exaggerate my importance. My problem is that I don’t exaggerate my importance to Him.
I snap to attention and stand to look at myself in the mirror, wondering if I’ve lost all traces of good sense and humility. And that’s when the Lord asks me a couple questions,
What if you took those missed opportunities and saw them as My way of saying, “You’re so important to me, I have something even better in mind for you?”
What if instead of seeing forgotten invites as proof of your minimal importance, you saw them as opportunities for My important purposes to be wildly, exaggeratedly on display?
When we live and breathe these truths in our lives, God doesn’t roll His eyes when we exaggerate our importance. He throws His arms in the air and cheers as we begin to understand how far He’ll go to give us His best.
It’s true: you and I can do nothing on our own. But with God we can do everything we’re meant to do. We can believe that because we are so abundantly important to Him, He goes to exaggerated cross-shaped lengths to prove His commitment to us.
With the right attitude, exaggerating our importance gives us the courage and ability to see ourselves as the One beyond the stars see us: Radiant, significant, and brilliant.
And it gives us the ability to give the Father exaggerated praise for shining through us in a thousand star-worthy ways.
Do you ever scold yourself for exaggerating your importance? What is one way you can exaggerate your importance to Him today?
With much love by Kristen Strong of Chasing Blue Skies