The Applause of God

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a one-word prompt, without heavy editing, and see what happens. Today’s word is “deserve.”

When I was in junior high school, I really wanted to earn the Service Award at the end of my 9th-grade year. I volunteered in the library, I was an office helper, I worked what they called back then OWE, which stood for Outside Work Experience. That meant that I could have a volunteer job somewhere outside of school. I went next door to the elementary school and helped out in the 1st-grade classroom.

So at the end of the year commencement ceremony, when all the awards were announced, I felt pretty confident that I deserved that award. My heart raced as they started with the announcements. And then, my time came: Winner of this year’s service award: . . . Ann.

My heart sank. It wasn’t me. It was Ann. Ann who always won. Who was popular. Who was cute.

I couldn’t find it in my heart to rejoice for her. I was outraged that I hadn’t gotten the award I was sure I deserved. I never won anything.

It wasn’t fair.

I’d been robbed.

She must have been the administration’s pet.

There didn’t seem to be any reason in my little adolescent mind that I should not have gone home with that award.

You would think that 40+ years later, I wouldn’t remember that day. But I do.

What I don’t remember is if that made me work harder in the future, or made me just want to give up because there was no chance of my ever succeeding.

There have been many other disappointments since June of 1977. And so I have had to set aside my pride, which isn’t easy for one whose personality craves applause, and listen only for the applause of God.

And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
1 Timothy 4:8 New Living Translation

11 thoughts on “The Applause of God

      • Wow that really hit home for me as this is a topic God has really been dealing with me on. I could feel your emotions of disappointment and relate. Thank you for sharing this. A good reminder of who’s applause we should be seeking.

      • It’s a constant struggle. Most of the time the applause of people is so much easier to hear. But it’s also fickle. One minute you’re a hero, the next you’re a goat! God is never fickle. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Awwww, big hug to your 9th grade self as it sounds like such a disappointment. Perhaps if they had a sheet of paper that listed the place and hours served it would have had a different ending. But it is good that you have learned to tune your ear to the One Who matters. His well done will be worth the wait.
    ~Lisa, FMF #21

  2. Yes! Heaven! the most awesome prize … and we didn’t even have to work for it. God bless your writing today. Thank you for your thoughts.

  3. Amazing what sticks with us, eh?I bet I could plumb some deep stories out of my own past that I’ve forgotten are still lurking there!

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