I tend to downplay any accomplishments or victories in my life. It seems arrogant, you know, to give myself credit, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Philippians 2:3) I can't do anything without His touch in my life.
But when a friend of mine talked about wanting to celebrate two of her recent milestones, it hit me that I never celebrate anything. A few years ago I achieved something I'd always dreamed of, but didn't celebrate for fear it may make others feel bad. I didn't talk about it except with those closest to me. I reasoned that God was the one who turned the light switch on and I couldn't take any credit for it. In my life it was a big deal, but I looked around and realized in the scope of life in general it really wasn't. It should have been something I achieved a long time ago anyway, so what was to get all excited about?
In my thinking, if anyone can top what I've done then there's nothing to write home about. I may touch a few people on this blog, but I don't get thousands of hits a day or make a living from it, so mine is really nothing. I may have written over 1000 posts, but it's only a middle-aged woman's blather that no one cares about, so what's the point of celebrating it? And really, can any one person take credit for progress? The Bible studies I'm a part of may be growing and beautiful bonding and learning may be taking place, but that's not because of me. Everyone is doing their own part. I may write scripts, but they would have no life at all without the input of talented actors and singers and directors. My body becomes more fit not because of what I do, but through the encouragement of the people I work out with who compel me to push harder.
You see what I do to myself? I can't get no satisfaction. I don't let myself be happy about anything I do. Would I enjoy life more if I did? If I marked important events with little celebrations would I find myself less worn out and more joyful?
Is it wrong to be proud of ourselves, to be excited about what we've accomplished, to want to celebrate? I've always told myself it is, but what is wrong with celebrating what GOD has done? Wouldn't it be wrong to dismiss what He's accomplished in and with and through us? Does God want us trudging along getting no satisfaction in life? I don't think so.
Finding satisfaction in my work is a pleasure from the hand of God. Why am I not accepting it? In the Old Testament, one of the prescribed festivals was the Festival of the Harvest. Isn't this celebrating what God provided through the work of His people?
So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.
And here is the gist of the matter for me. I downplay my work because I look around. I compare and see I am not all that, which leaves me wondering why I bother trying. I get discouraged and believe my efforts don't count. Do I not give God credit then either? But if I pay attention to my own work, I'll find the satisfaction of a job well done. Which is a gift from God. And worth celebrating.
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done and won't need to compare yourself with anyone else.
I'm not going to go so far as to say I'm proud of myself. I know "by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Corinthians 15:10) and the influence of His spirit and the people He's put into my life enable me to do what I do. But I CAN celebrate Him and the work He does in and with and through me. I can celebrate His presence, His inspiration, His work. In doing so, I just may find the satisfaction I've been missing.
Do you have trouble finding satisfaction?