Regardless of what profession one has chosen in life I think everyone wants to feel like their efforts have been recognized and appreciated. Even ministers are not immune to these feelings. A plaque, a brief mention in a denominational paper detailing the numerical growth of your church or a complimentary comment made about us by a respected colleague can provide a momentary jolt to our oh so fragile psyche. But it doesn’t take long before the plaque finds itself dust covered and stored away in a closet and someone else has become the new hot topic of conversation amongst your peers.
The longer I serve in the ministry the more I have come to desire and appreciate a different kind of award. Awards that can’t be displayed on walls. Awards that are given to us by people who don’t even realize they are giving them to us. Let me give you some examples of the greatest awards I have ever received.I call them “Life Awards.”
…when people ask for your opinion and they really do want it.
…when you reach a point where you don’t have church members you have “brethren”
…when you know you have people in your life who would take a bullet for you. In other words when the “throw down goes down” you know they would stand with you.
…when people don’t have to tell you they love you. You just know that they do.
…when someone tells you that their life is better because you were part of it.
….when someone calls me “Pastor” and I know it is not just a title but it is because I am their “Pastor”
…when pastor is not what you do but who you are.
I am at a point in my journey where I am not really concerned about fame or acclaim but I really do hope that when I leave this world I can leave behind a shelf full of “Life Awards”