Finding Joy in Being Unimportant
Yes, you read that right. We can find joy in being unimportant. Our world is driven to fame and popularity. If you are popular you are important, or so the world thinks. Famous people are seen as important and their opinions, no matter how wrong they are, are seen as valuable. People are not exactly running up to the beggar on the street corner asking their advice on life, though that person may have a depth of knowledge and experience to draw from. We can easily get caught up with thinking that because we are not famous we are not important. However, I want to encourage you that their is a joy to be had in being not so important to the world.
Turning the World on its Ear
Being a Christian I want to draw on a principle that Jesus taught, and that is that those the world thinks to be important God does not think highly of, and those that the world sees as unimportant God sees as precious individuals. A couple of examples I can think of where we are taught this is found first with Jesus' mother, Mary. When she was told that she would be giving birth to Jesus she sang a song of worship to God, and in that song she stated that "He (God) has brought rulers down from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty." (Luke 1:52-53) So, Mary saw how God works in putting His attention and value in those that the world sees as unimportant.
A second example is where Jesus is teaching His disciples. They were having an argument in Matthew 18:20-28 about who would be the greatest in God's kingdom. Jesus gave them quite a surprise when He told them that the ones who want to be great in His kingdom must become the servant of all. What a break from the traditional thinking that greatness comes through power and position.
There are other examples, but this gives us an idea that fame, wealth and power are not all that they are cracked up to be. Being a common, ordinary everyday person is valuable. There is joy to be had in the simple life that cannot be experienced by those who spend every waking moment fighting for position and power. So, we see that God turns the world on its ear in regards to how He determines a person's importance in the world.
Finding Joy in the Ordinary
It is difficult to go through the Christmas season in the United States without at least once watching the movie 'Its a Wonderful Life'. George, the main character in the movie is frustrated because he thinks that his life is meaningless. However Clarence, an ordinary angel, shows him that his life has a depth of meaning that he was missing. He was important to his family, his friends, and the poor who depended on him to own their own home. True meaning and importance can be found in the ordinary, everyday stuff of life. Our fame and wealth means nothing to our children or spouse. Any prestige we may have in the world is nothing to our close friends. What matters to them is that we love them and are there for them.
When we are not spending our time fighting for position and power, then we are free to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I'm reminded of Levi's Jeans having commercials in the 1980's about the simple pleasures of life. They would show a cowboy standing in a field covered in snow. In the quietness of the moment a rabbit came out and gently glided away in the snow. There was a simple pleasure to be had that money could not buy. There are simple pleasures all around us if we are free to enjoy them.
Are you feeling unimportant today, lacking value? Well, you are the world to someone. Maybe you are the world to your children, your spouse, that sickly senior citizen in the nursing home who looks forward to your visits, or that family in your neighborhood that everyone else ignores. You are important. I encourage you today to find joy in being unimportant to the world, but so very important to God and others.