My son, Cole, played tee ball when he was five. His team wore purple tee-shirts with their names on the back. On the front, in big black letters, was the team’s sponsor: Gutter Pro’s.
One day, when we were driving, I had the news on in the van. Cole said, “Mom, quick! Turn it up! I want to hear the sports!”
So I turned up, and chuckled at the way he leaned forward in his seat, listening intently to the sportscaster. This was new; he had never paid so much attention before.
But afterward, he slumped back, dejectedly, in his seat. He said, “Mom, I don’t get it. Why don’t they ever give the Gutter Pro’s score?”
Sometimes, I admit, I’m a bit like my boy. I slump back in my seat, feeling dejected and frustrated because nobody even noticed my “home run”, let alone announced it! Maybe I ironed 16 of my husband’s shirts. Or I spent an hour and 47 minutes, just driving around dropping and picking my kids up from their activities. Or I spent 26 hours, preparing to speak to a moms group.
But when I lean forward, listening for someone to announce my “score”, all I hear is crickets. And maybe a cranky kid asking if he can play video games.
In moments like these, it’s good for me to say to myself, “Go Gutterpros!” It always makes me smile, to think of my preschooler, expecting to be on the news. And really, while it’s nice for my service to be noticed and appreciated, recognition never seems to satisfy me the way I think it will.
Does recognition satisfy anyone? I’ll bet even professional baseball players, who are on the news, don’t think they get nearly the press time they deserve.
Jesus, who deserves more recognition than any person who ever lived, arrived in a sleepy town which didn’t produce many major league players. And even when Jesus hit home run miracles, he told people to keep it to themselves. (Mark 1:43-44) And in the end, Jesus died a scornful death. There was no fanfare or grand recognition. Philippians 2: 8b-9a says,
“He humbled himself, being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him!”
If I follow Jesus, I must walk as he walked–not craving recognition or headlines with my name in them. This isn’t because my serving lacks value. Even the small ways that I serve can be used greatly by Him. But God wants me to be content to wait until heaven for my work to be celebrated.
So the next you hit a “home run” act of service, and no one seems to notice, just smile to yourself and say, “Go Gutterpros!” And remember that God is keeping score.