May 22, 2013"His Masterpiece"
My mailbox was ugly. Now, granted, having an ugly mailbox doesn't rank up there with other high crimes and misdemeanors (such as using the wrong fork at a formal dinner party or wearing white after Labor Day), but to one who prides herself on her creative and decorating abilities, such an outward sign to others of my neglect was an ongoing source of embarrassment.
Further, since a mailbox can be a reflection of its owner, and I don't consider myself old, rusty and with a few loose screws (although others might beg to differ), I didn't want to project that image to the neighbors.
So, it was time for a mailbox makeover! Thus, with paint, lettering, flowers, potting soil, a tiny picket fence and some assorted dog items, (to add the perfect canine touch), I marched down the hill to the mailbox.
After several hours of intense labor, my masterpiece was finished! I stood up and proudly announced to the world, "Hey, everybody, look what I did!" Of course, "everybody" consisted of a few squirrels, rabbits and birds, none of whom seemed particularly interested or impressed by my handiwork.
Not to be discouraged by the indifference of my unappreciative audience, I decided to hang around a little while to see if a neighbor happened to pass by. After all, I didn't want to deprive anyone of the opportunity to "ooh and aah" over my masterpiece. Alas, no one came by, so I finally packed up my debris and trudged back up the hill.
So I was thinking…..
Why do we so often seek the praise and approval of others? Not that there is anything wrong with enjoying a pat on the back for a job well done, but if that is what we continually seek, we will be disappointed and feel like we have fallen short or are unworthy if we don't receive it. Although we are commanded to love and encourage each other, if we completely trust our worth and validation to others, they will eventually let us down, even if it is unintentional.
We were created by God to glorify Him (not ourselves). We are His masterpiece, made in His image. Our worth and being comes from Him alone. And He doesn't just pat us on the back or give us some praise platitudes. He gave His only Son for you and me. It doesn't get any better than that.
"Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Isaiah 43:6b-7
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1b
©2013 Phyllis Knight
(Please see my article "A Survey of a Wonderful Life" on page B4)