What can be done in 15 minutes? Forbes Magazine gives us some options:
- Decide what not to do on your to-do list
- Blast through paperwork, or any other dreaded item
- Acknowledge someone else
- Choose tomorrow’s first task
- Get feedback
What about your 15 minutes of fame? When you are given that moment to shine how will you handle it? When God provides you with the most awesome task how much would you sacrifice for it? When the timer goes off, though, how will you handle that transition?
15 minutes goes fast.
And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John 3:26
The temptation to increase is always present. John’s people came to him with a deep concern. Everyone is going over there! We are losing people! Something must be done if you want to maintain your popularity. We often hear of people having 15 minutes of fame. What will you do with yours? Have you had yours yet? Would you recognize it if you did? John wanted to do God’s Will. When the time came for him to begin preaching, he did with gusto! However, in the back of his mind he knew that this was not forever. There would come a time when this fame passed. If he relied on this for his identity and worth he would face depression afterward. Often people enter retirement and face depression. Because their life worth is based on the glory men gave more than the glory God gives. When the lights go out and the paparazzi leave, God is what you needed and need.
When the lights go out.
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” John 3:27
John understood that all he had was from God. He was given a platform and he used it properly. John’s 15 minutes was part of a larger process of God’s plan. 15 minutes is only a portion of the 1440 in a day. In the same way your fame will not last, but it is not designed to last. In God’s economy of time he gives you what is necessary to promote His plan. For a time the spotlight might rest on your, but then it is gone. John did not trouble himself with these concerns. He answered the call when it came and now he was prepared to move on to other work as God desired. When we make it about ourselves we might answer differently than John. When it is about ourselves, we clamor for the camera. We seek the glad-handing and pats on the back. We get angry when someone else gets the glory. John knew God’s plan was more important. He reveled in helping that plan more than his popularity.
Transition with grace.
You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.” John 3:28-29
John knew that God’s light was moving to Jesus. Instead of getting upset, he transitions with grace. His role was complete and now it was time for someone else to be up front. How are you faring in transition? You might be the next big thing. You might be on the downhill side. The way you transition makes all the difference in your joy and the development of other people’s faith. When we submit to God’s plan then we begin to realize our lives are more like a relay than a sprint. We are to receive, run, and pass the baton. We eagerly wait for the baton to come. We run hard. We cannot run forever. There is one who waits like we did. We must give the baton and then cheer them on. Most organizations I know wrestle with this issue. Leadership finds it hard to transition and then cheer them on.
Cheering on the next person.
He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
John did not try to manipulate the situation. He did not try to make a power play against Jesus. He did not look over his shoulder and tell Jesus how to do it better. He did not tell Him that locusts and honey was the only approach to this position. Can you imagine that? He let go but he did not quit. He supported Jesus. John kept on doing what God wanted. Too often, those who transition out then complain about how things are being done now or, worse, they just quit. We need cheering on. We need people to keep functioning.
Where do you find yourself in this process? Are you John? Are you the ones worried about where the people are going? Have you transitioned? Are you doing it with grace or grumbles? May each of us be ready when God calls. May we run hard the race we are designed to run. May we, with grace, cheer on those who follow us.