Insignificance Isn’t

SmallDaveEver feel like you’re the smallest no-big-deal person on the team? Do you long for recognition and reward, wondering if it’ll ever come?

I had years and years of those exact sentiments, but let me assure you it’s never your final destination. Promotion WILL come, typically along with recognition and rewards.

I spent last week at Board meetings in Tulsa, where it’s my privilege to serve on the Board of Trustees at my alma mater, Oral Roberts University. I’m now in a position of influencing a University I love, but there were many years (I worked there for 10) that included insignificance, hard work with little pay, rare esteem, and bouts of frustration.

Though TV showcases overnight success, most people of prominence experience LONG seasons of insignificance. In the Bible we find Moses on the back side of the desert for 40 years, Joseph in prison for 13, even Jesus waiting til he was 30 to start his public ministry. And let’s not forget Daniel who was thrown into the lion’s den for his faithful service, and his three friends who ended up in a killer-hot furnace.

Kind of makes our agonizing wait seem a bit less dramatic right? But still, it can be hard and there are no easy fix-it formulas.

My best advice?

Stay your course, work with excellence, focus on the perks, and love all the people. Because later when you’re promoted it’ll be those people cheering the loudest. When you finally do “arrive” (what does arriving mean anyway?) you’re then able to fully appreciate your new places of prominence, knowing you paid a price and now possess the character to handle recognition for all the right reasons.

So now when someone tells me they’re going through testings, struggling with insignificance or frustration, I say, “Ah yes, you must be chosen for greatness!”

You’re stronger than you think and I’m cheering you on…