When I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a famous actress, singer, ballerina, gymnast, writer, or painter. I longed to be on the stage, performing before adoring crowds. More than anything, I wanted to be a star.
I got a taste of fame when I moved to a small town in East Asia. In a city with just a handful of foreigners, a white girl standing in line at the post office was equivalent to a celebrity appearance. Strangers in the park asked to take pictures with me. A grandmother sitting next to me on the bus wanted to know if I had a boyfriend, then tried to set me up with her grandson. Giggling high school girls shyly asked, “What’s your name?” then ran away, embarrassed, before I could answer. And many people just stared, whispering, “wai guo ren! wai guo ren!” (foreigner! foreigner!) to each other as I walked past.
Reveling in the attention, I would play it up to the crowds, waving and smiling to the gawking old ladies, patiently talking to the students whose parents wanted them to practice their English. It was humorous to watch the double-takes that resulted from seeing a blue-eyed, curly-haired, freckled American among the massive crowds of Asian faces. Once a teenage boy plowed his bicycle into a tree because he was craning his neck for another look at the local sensation! (He wasn’t hurt, apparently, and his buddies thought it was hilarious.)
And then one of my life-long dreams became a reality – I got to be on TV! They needed some foreigners to be part of a New Year’s special program and I jumped at the chance. The makeup, the costumes, the live audience, the applause… I soaked it all in. I was finally a star.
But after months and years of having my every move scrutinized, I started to long for a day when I could just blend into the crowd. The whispers and comments and questions started to irritate me. I began to avoid anyone who approached me with requests for photos. The only escape into anonymity was on the coldest days of the harsh northeast winters. With a hat pulled low on my head, a scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth, and my head bent down into the wind – no one could tell that I was a foreigner!
Fame. It’s what I thought I wanted. But now that I had a taste of it, I discovered it wasn’t all that I thought it would be.
Why wasn’t I satisfied? Though I thought fame was what I wanted, I was really seeking the attention and admiration that went with it. But getting stared at in the street or being photographed by strangers didn’t satisfy my need for significance.
Fame won’t fill that void. Admiration and attention from others won’t fill it. But if I am secure in knowing WHO I am and WHOSE I am – a beloved daughter of the King, free and forgiven, destined for great things that He has prepared in advance for me to do – then it doesn’t matter if the crowds adore me or not!
What do you want? And will you be satisfied when you get it? Take an honest look at the motivation behind what you’re seeking. And ask the Lord to fill those needs with His perfection. Because nothing else will satisfy the way His love satisfies.
Psalm 90:14 says, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”