I don’t want to be famous.
I’m not talking about Hollywood, People Magazine famous; that’s another thing entirely. I’m referring to this odd new phenomenon of being “Christian-famous.” It seems today that everyone wants to have a brand for themselves, speak at elusive conferences and have people clamoring for their ideas, and write an amazing book that’ll make them the next Bob Goff (who I love and admire greatly, by the way.)
Truthfully, I used to want that. I don’t know what shifted and how or where, but my attitude towards these things are much different than they used to be. I suppose it’s because I’ve seen how many people have neglected their friends, spouses, kids, and church family all in the name of crafting their own personal brand to tell the world about how awesome their life is.
I don’t want this to come off as cynical, of course—there’s certainly a place for all of those things and there are a lot of “Christian-famous” people making a huge impact on the world, and I’m so grateful for them. I’ve just come to the conclusion that I don’t have to be one of those people.
Recently, I was reading a book in which the author wrote about her grandmother who was about to pass away. She said her grandmother was always asking her how her relationship with God was and what she was learning in her Bible reading. She never cared whether they went to good colleges, made a lot of money, or wrote a best-selling book—at the end of the day, all she cared about was knowing her kids and grandkids trusted Christ with their entire lives. I think that’s so beautiful.
Steve Jobs is famously quoted as saying that he wanted Apple to “put a dent in the universe.” I don’t know if that’s best for everyone, though. I think there’s something beautiful about a community of people, living ordinary lives, raising families, making their part of the world a better place, and writing heartfelt blog posts whether or not they have a significant audience. There’s something amazing, and holy perhaps, about people going to church together every weekend, serving together and showing up for their community, whatever that may look like.
You have a significant part to play in the world, friend. For some people, that part may include writing a book, traveling the world, and having influence. For others, it may mean being in the background, serving our churches without fanfare, and loving the people we’ve been given to love.
You have a part to play, and no one else can play it. So play your heart out.