I am driven to produce. At the end of the day, I want something to show for the hours I have spent.
When I was a young stay-at-home mom, I craved recognition for the work I did caring for our children and keeping our household running smoothly. When my husband came through the front door one night, after a difficult day at his job, I took his hand and led him into the kitchen. “Look,” I said. “I cleaned the refrigerator today.”
“Uh-huh,” he replied.
“I mean I really cleaned it. I took out all the drawers and washed them. I scrubbed every shelf, threw out all condiments past their ‘best if used by’ dates, and put in a new box of baking soda to absorb odors.”
“It looks nice,” my husband said, scanning the kitchen for evidence of a prepared dinner.
Truthfully, my husband did appreciate my work. He knew I put great effort into keeping a tidy house and raising a happy family. He didn’t need to be shown a clean refrigerator to be convinced I worked hard every day.
I was the one who needed to look at the clean refrigerator. It proved I had accomplished something concrete, been productive, and performed a task well. It wasn’t my husband who doubted my worth. It was I.
Like many people, I seek validation. I am surrounded by overachievers, people who exceed the expectations of their peers. Women are crowned Miss America, actors are given Oscars, big financial contributors have hospital wings named after them, and kids’ names are placed on the honor roll.
A problem arises, though, when recipients of honors and awards rely upon such recognition to affirm their worth. What happens next year when a different woman is crowned Miss America and another actor takes home the Oscar?
You and I have value because we were created in God’s image, are people upon whom He showers His love, and the recipients of His matchless grace. God loves every “also-ran” just as much as he loves the much applauded winner.
Our worth is not dependent upon what we accomplish. We matter simply because we are. My intrinsic value is not diminished on those days when I am hard pressed to prove I accomplished anything. My name doesn’t move back and forth between the good list and the bad list dependent upon what I manage to do.
God doesn’t call us so much to do as He calls us to be. Be content, be holy, be compassionate, be a reflection of God’s glory, and be assured you matter, regardless of how much or how little you accomplish on any given day.
No matter the condition of my refrigerator, the state of my bank account, or the presence or absence of my name on a list of Who’s Who, I matter.
So do you.
©Debbie Scales March 23, 2016 Word Count: 490