Lately, I’ve been asking myself the question: Would I still write if no one was there to read the words I sometimes painfully produce? What if no one else reads this blog? Even deeper still, what if I only wrote for an audience of one—the One? How would I feel? If I were to be completely honest with myself, the very idea scares me. And that, my friends is a problem. Because, in reality I should only ever write for the audience of One. Everything I ever do should be done only for the audience of One.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. As humans we’re created to desire relationships. To desire being fully embraced by others. We truly want others to appreciate our talents and our true selves. We want to be loved—crave it actually. When we lay ourselves completely out for the world to see, we want nothing more than full acceptance. I’m not saying this is wrong. We were created to desire acceptance. We were created to crave unconditional love. The problem is we often look for human beings to fill us in these ways. And humans fail.
Sadly, so often everything I do in life is for the acceptance of others. I think back to my very tragic days of middle school. I look at my younger-self and want to whisper some things in her ear. Things like You see the smart girl by the teacher? She will be one of your best friends in life, even after high school. Don’t cast her aside for the sake of popularity and friends that aren’t real. Oh and that boy you were so in love with for all three years of middle school, well he’s not Prince Charming, that’s for sure. And for goodness sakes! Wearing a shirt from Wal-Mart is FINE! If only I had been more concerned in pleasing the audience of One, adolescence may have proved less painful. This is not to say I didn’t learn from my mistakes, but did I have to make so many!?
The same can be said for some of the decisions I make as an adult. What in life do I do only so others will like me more? Do I find it difficult to set up boundaries because I am afraid of what others might think? Do I force my children to do and be because of what others will say if I don’t? Or, what if I take the audience of One concept a step further. What would I do better if I remembered He was watching? What in life am I not doing with excellence because I forget that God the Father is watching me intently? And He is. He watches us with an intensity we don’t understand. Whatever we do, whenever we do it, we garner His full attention.
In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he says, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ (3:23).” The word whatever means everything. As ridiculous as it sounds, Paul means for whatever to include everything from authoring blogs to changing poopy diapers. It includes the comments I leave students on graded essays to the, eh-hem, very healthy meal of hotdogs and tater-tots I prepare. It includes my treatment of the homeless man on the street corner to my attitude when dusting my house. It includes everything. Everything I do, should be for the audience of One.
What I find most miraculous about making sure I do everything for the audience of One is that I am liberated. God is far more forgiving and easier to please than humans. It is also liberating for my family. When I make decisions for my children based upon God’s desires for them and not the sometimes overly harsh mommy audience, there is total freedom. When I write because God is teaching me something I desperately need to learn, and not something I feel others should know, I come away deeply affected. That’s just it. Remembering the audience of One should effect everything I do and in turn, when I choose to perform for the One and Only, I am free from the chains of human expectation.
Because you see, here is the beauty of making all of your decisions and everything you do be for the audience of One…your audience then becomes the world. It is one of the great paradoxes of scripture. Give and you get more. Be fully His and the world’s acceptance is no longer needed. Not that we should ever be motivated by what we get from God, but rather motivated out of our love for Him. I love Him because He first loved me. My strongest needs to be unconditionally loved and fully accepted are exactly what God the Father gives. And this is the reason, the only reason I should make the choices I make and do what I do.
I fail more often than not in living for my audience of One. But because my audience is only really ever One, I get to perform countless acts while trying to perfect my craft on this stage of life. Some acts are more tragic than comic. They are almost always dramatic, and I often forget my lines. But the finale…oh how I can’t wait for the finale. What would His standing ovation feel like? I can only keep trying to find out.