There was a season of my life when I was an avid amateur photographer. A local festival was holding a photography contest. My family and friends had convinced me that I had “an eye” for photography, and my photographs were “all that”. I carefully selected what I’d enter and delivered my photos for the contest. I waited through the week with anticipation, sure that I would be a winner. The day and time finally came when the winners would be announced. I arrived just in time to hear my name being called. I think my head physically swelled, but I can’t confirm it.
By the time I got to the tent, other awards/names were being called. When the opportunity presented itself, I proudly approached the announcer,. . “Excuse me; I think you called my name as I was arriving. Am I a winner?” She told me to look through the awards on a nearby table. My eyes scanned for a certificate with my name. There it was, what I’d anticipated. My name on such lovely parchment paper with these words across the top: Certificate of Participation.
PROUD: Having inordinate self-esteem; possessing a high or unreasonable conceit of one's own excellence, either of body or mind. A man may be proud of his person, of his talents, of his accomplishments or of his achievements.
HUMBLE: Lowly; modest; meek; submissive; opposed to proud, haughty, arrogant or assuming.
Do you know how long it took me to go from proud to humble? …. about 3 seconds.
I laugh about this story and hope you get a chuckle out of it as well. I did learn a valuable lesson that day. I wanted to win a ribbon so I could boast in my accomplishments and talent. God had other plans to use my photography and it didn’t involve fame or fortune.
He later inspired me to make a dvd photo show from many of my favorites. I don’t know how a copy ended up in the hands of our local funeral home, but I believe God orchestrated it. This particular funeral home plays the dvd photo show on a regular basis as folks in mourning gather to say goodbye to their loved ones and friends. The familiar and simple photos of God’s creation bring comfort to many.
My identity is not known as the photos play and that’s exactly the way I want it. You see, it’s not about me. I don’t want recognition as I give God the glory on this one. I’m thankful He humbled me and used my photography as a vessel of comfort to reach those who needed it. It’s worth more to me than 100 blue ribbons.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10 NIV
Have a blessed day my friends.