Stage: point of attention; place where one’s influence is used.
It all started when I was very young. My family would go to different venues to play Irish, classical and folk music. Near the end of the performance, my mom would get the guitar and my dad would shorten the microphone. “Now, my daughter is going to sing Eidelweiss from the Sound of Music!”
The older folks would “Ooh!” and “Aah!” as I shuffled my way to the front and tried to be as cute as possible. Afterwards, everyone would say, “Good job, little one!” I acted shy, but the truth is, I loved every bit of the attention. Who wouldn’t? I completely enjoyed the spotlight!
As I got older, my love of the center stage intensified. I love it when people laugh at my corny jokes and tease me. But when I was about 10-years-old, I noticed a disturbing pattern in my life.
When I spent time with kids my age or older, I would try to be the center of attention and end up getting what I was after. My friends laughed with me and liked being around me. I acted just like all the other girls, flirted with the boys and made silly conversation. At the end of the day though, I was very unhappy with my behavior.
Why was I so dissatisfied with myself? I wanted attention and I got it! Why wasn’t that enough?
Now that I’m at the ripe old age of nineteen, I look back and the answer is so obvious! I was unhappy because I was pointing everyone’s attention to myself and not to God.
Gradually, God started changing my heart toward the stage. I have a natural gift for gaining attention in performing, conversation, even sport (I might have people’s attention in sports because they can’t believe it’s possible for one person to try so hard and still not score!) But, how can I use this to glorify God?
Here are some ways that God has shown me to give Him praise through my life:
Give your gift to the One that created it!
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”-1 Peter 4:10
God has given each one of us gifts and talents – music, design, a great personality, acting, or artistic and domestic gifts. How you use those gifts though is entirely up to you. Are you going to serve yourself with those gifts or serve God? Prayerfully consider what God would have you do with this, then follow Him! Because without Him, we are nothing.
Commit your works to the Lord!
Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established! -Proverbs 16:3
I now perform a lot, but whether impromptu or formally, I pray beforehand and ask God to help me praise Him and do my best. Then I sing or play music to God – to glorify Him and bring Him glory.
As women, its easy to fall into the trap of using our influence to point to ourselves. So, whenever you know the temptation will arise, ask God beforehand to give you:
- His attitude
- His humility
- His words
Then, resolve to act in a way that glorifies God in whatever you are doing! This isn’t always easy, I know. A lot of times I just have to shut my mouth or refuse to bring something up in conversation.
So many times resolving to glorify God in everything means I have to be in the background doing something that no one appreciates. But, it’s worth it if I can please God! Knowing that at the end of the day, God is whispering, “Well done today, my daughter. You’re learning!” is one million times better than always being the center of attention.
In closing, I’d like to say that I am no master of humility! God is consistently refining me in this area and I am definitely not a finished product. But, He is so good to love us even when we make mistakes!