We live in a celebrity-crazed culture. Celebrity actors. Celebrity artists. Celebrity athletes. Celebrity anything. It seems to me that we think that only those folks who are well known or on television or in the movies or on the playing field are important. We think that only celebrities do the really significant work or make a real contribution to the world. We look at their lives with envy. Follow their every move. Read every magazine article about them. All the while we minimize our own lives and our own work and our own service to others. If we could only be well known and famous, then our lives would have more meaning, then we could do some really world-changing work.
Fortunately, God doesn’t look at our lives that way. I tend to think He is generally unimpressed with celebrity status. It seems to me He has a different set of priorities. This really hit home to me when I was reading the book of the prophet Ezekiel and came to the part where God commissions him and sends him to speak to Israel. Listen to this:
And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house. (Ezekiel 2:1-7)
So let me get this straight. God tells Ezekiel to speak HIS word to HIS people but not to worry about the success rate. Ezekiel was to prophecy whether people listened or not. This is not my idea of a successful career or a fast track to stardom. God’s priority for Ezekiel was his faithfulness to God’s call for his life, not how big a following he had. God does not measure success by our standards – thankfully. It always struck me as odd that Jesus picked 12 men to be his apostles (13 if you count Paul), but He only included the story of two of them in the Bible. What about the others? They were just as faithful to their commission to make disciples of all the world. We just don’t hear about them and God is fine with that.
My point is simple. Let’s not be influenced or sidetracked by the world’s value of celebrity status. Let’s not look at our earthly “success” as a measure of our Father’s good pleasure. Let’s simply be faithful to our call – here and now – and not worry about what it looks like. The results, to be revealed later, will no doubt surprise you. For me, it is enough to have a fan base of One.