There are no trophies here

When I was in high school I found the verse, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I wrote it in teenage cursive. I made a collage around it. I taped it to my mirror.

Delighting. It was another task to accomplish.

At some point in my childhood, I learned how to please the grownups. I learned that I was really good at pleasing grownups. And soon, it was what I lived for. Looks of approval. Nodding heads to tell me I was enough. I did my best on every sheet of homework and was nice to the weird kids and ran as fast as I could in PE. In return, the grownups gave me trophies: Hardest Worker, Best Character, Girl of the Year.

I’d found my niche. It was in obedience, the completion of tasks, hard work. I didn’t want to pray aloud in Sunday School, but the grownups wanted me to. So I did. And I memorized the verses and brought my Bible to church and counted out my quarters to stick in the offering plate.

God was the Ultimate Grownup, smiling if I could keep up with my tasks, a sweet teacher who liked me as long as I was nice enough to All the People and concerned with All the Bad Things. And if I could do it, if I could risk enough and try enough and come close enough to God, it would be enough.

I would be enough…

 

Today I’m over at A Deeper Church thinking about a faith without trophies.  Join me there?

 

Photo Credit: jmv at Flickr
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