I played basketball as a kid. I was always good enough to make the team but not good enough to play much. So the highlight of my basketball "career" was the warm-up time before the games . . . you know . . . when all the players get in two lines; one line shoots layups while the other rebounds. I remember running as fast as I could, jumping as high as I could, and trying my darnedest to make those layups . . . and to make ‘em look good!
Why? Because there was a crowd there, that’s why! Every day, practice meant drills, scrimmages, and sweat in an empty gym. But when game day rolled around, there were people . . . parents . . . teachers . . . and girls!
Attention is powerful. We all do better when somebody’s watching . . . or at least, that’s when we tend to give it our best. And the opposite is equally true; when nobody’s watching, we tend to go easy or slack off. So, how do you get yourself fired up on the job when you’re the10th or 11th man on a 12-man team? When you’re just part of the machine? When no one seems to know what you do . . . whether you’re doing it great or just getting by?
I found my answer in a quote from a really bright guy named Os Guinness. Os says, “We live our lives before an audience of One!” That One is our Heavenly Father. He cares immensely about you. He knows everything you do . . . He knows every ounce of extra effort you put in and every shortcut you take. He never turns His head to look the other way. He never goes on vacation . . . "when the cat’s away, the mice will play" doesn’t cut it here. He’s always in the audience . . . smiling . . . pulling for you . . . watching what you do and how you do it.
What if there was a live “God Cam” in your office, in the break room, in your car, at the restaurant where you have lunch, or over your computer. Your “audience of One” is always tuned in . . . watching . . . pulling for you to make good choices, and wincing in pain when you don’t. My point here isn’t to scare you into righteousness, but to remind you that you’re not alone. Whether there are additional spectators or not, the One that matters is always there. He loves you. He loved and accepted me even though I wasn’t good enough to make the starting five. He loves and accepts you whether you work in the corner office or the corner grocery.
God’s Word challenges us . . .
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Somewhere along the line I heard this saying. It’s stuck with me . . . I say it to someone almost every day . . .
“We feel good about ourselves when we do the right thing.”
We have Scripture telling us good work is pleasing to our Lord. And we have an old saying reminding us how good we feel about ourselves when we do good work. The next time you think no one cares about the job you do, remember you have two very important audiences who are always tuned in . . . yourself and your Heavenly Father. Make them both smile.