I have a Basis watch that monitors my steps, my calories and my sleep. Yes, I am one of THOSE people. I try not to be too obsessive about making my goals, but I have been known to walk around the living room at 11pm or move my arm up and down when I have walked 9,123 steps and need to hit 10,000 to reach my goal.
This morning I went for a tired run, but wanted to at least run as long as my goal. I ran my usual course and when I returned to my house, I realized that my Basis had stopped timing and didn’t show that I had actually run the distance I knew I had run.
Looking like an idiot, I started sprinting back and forth in my court until my watch recognized that I had made my goal.
I wanted credit.
In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about being careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others, and he gives some great examples about what it looks like to do something without drawing a lot of attention to yourself. I tend to read that chapter and think, “Ok, Jesus. I have no problem giving without a lot of fanfare, and I never ever stand on the street corners wanting everyone to see me praying. I’ve totally got this.”
Until I go sprinting in my cul-de sac for an extra minute, and I hear Jesus whisper, “Are you sure about that?”
This isn’t really even about my Basis watch and whether I reached my goals. It is more about the moments when someone else receives credit for something I did or when no one said thank you or even noticed the hard work and effort I put into a project. It’s the days when I want to be noticed and recognized, the days I watch someone else in the spotlight and think, “I want to matter like that.”
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with wanting credit or hoping someone notices, but it feels important for me to consider whether I base my value or worth on how others see me or whether they affirm something I have done.
There is something hopeful about knowing that God sees this struggle and loves me anyway. And He doesn’t just see it, but He invites me to sit with Him long enough to admit it. He knows we want to matter, but even more He longs for us to know how much we matter to Him. Not because we run 10,000 steps or make it through the week without yelling at our kids, or because we opened a homeless shelter or cured cancer, but simply because He loves us. Do we really believe that? What would it take today to believe that more?
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis