This past week has been a flurry of activity in our home. My son has been working on his 4-H projects for the fair….13 of them….finishing them up and writing out those infamous tags! (Kudos to large 4-H families….I don’t know how you do it with more than one kid!)
As he was adding to his pile yesterday, I was noticing the difference in the quality of work he has done over the years. There were still a few simple projects he entered, but some of his work was amazing! His drawing and photography this year were exceptional!
He added welding and challenge to his categories, and those were both a huge step in progressing creatively, and he is so looking forward to Sunday, going to the fair and finding out what ribbons he received.
I remember well that anticipation when awaiting the judges ruling on artwork or other things I have been judged on in the past. Waiting to find out if someone else thought I had done well, and how elated I could be with a blue ribbon, or how devastated I could be without.
I’m older now and have a different perspective on judging. I’ve
oh so painfully slowly learned over the years that these things are all relative. There are so many variables to take into account. The judge could be having a bad hair day, or have an aversion to a color used in a craft project, or be biased by a name or something as simple as odd penmanship. There are just so many simple things that sway a person’s decisions, I have learned that, really, in regard to the judging aspect, it is all meaningless.
Ecclesiastes comes to mind. “Meaningless, meaningless!” the writer cries. He has lived long enough and sinned big enough to realize that this life is meaningless apart from Jesus Christ.
So what is meaningful? Meaningful is the time spent together while creating the projects, the progress in maturity. The visible evidence of growth. The teachable moments along the way. The satisfaction of a job well done. The knowing from whom the gifts to create (made in the image of our Creator God) come from. Recognizing Jesus in it all and being satisfied, not in the judgment of fallible human beings or a blue ribbon or sweepstakes or trophy, but in Jesus, and Him alone.
Don’t love the world and what it offers. Those who love the world don’t have the Father’s love in them. Not everything that the world offers–physical gratification, greed, and extravagant lifestyles–comes from the Father. It comes from the world, and the world and its evil desires are passing away. But the person who does what God wants lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17
Father God, may we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as He leads and guides us in all wisdom, knowledge and understanding. In Jesus name, Amen