“The game is not about becoming somebody, it’s about becoming nobody.” ~ Ram Dass
I had a priest friend a long time ago who once said that he would know that he finally “made it” if, after he left a parish to go to another parish, the people would speak about him as “Fr. What-was-his-name”. He stated that he would want to be remembered not by name but simply as “the priest” that was there for his people and available to them whenever they were in need. That was his idea of success.
Apparently he was years ahead of Dass who pretty much says the same thing. “It’s about becoming nobody,” Dass asserts and I can agree with him wholeheartedly. Our spiritual journey is not about becoming noticed by anybody here on earth. Jesus would probably say to that, “You have already received your reward.”
We should not strive for earthly recognition. We should be jubilant if people do not recognize our name because the only one that matters is God. He sees what we are doing and He is the one who will reward us at the end of our days. To strive for earthly recognition reflects that we have the wrong understanding about what our lives should be about.
This goes against our human nature. We seem to be hardwired to seek out recognition in all its forms. We crave that recognition and will do almost anything to get it. Some people realize all too late that is not the way to go. Striving merely for worldly recognition can get us in a lot of trouble. It can also leave us feeling empty because our souls know that earthly recognition is not the goal.
Imagine what it is like to have a vast array of worldly rewards and yet feel empty. You might think that is crazy but I have known several people like that through the years. They had achieved a lot of recognition — I would even say fame — as well as riches and wealth. Yet they felt unfulfilled. They felt that there was more missing than what they had gained.
The reason they felt that way was because they had tried to fulfill their wants with worldly goods. They realized that the world could not give them what they needed and they felt empty inside. If you want to feel full, if you want to feel true reward, strive to gain heavenly treasure by doing good for others and forget about worldly recognition or reward.
FAITH ACTION: If you want to please the Lord, do all that you can for others today without looking for reward.