The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out award statues last night to recognize the best work in “reel” life: Best picture, best performances, best director, best visual effects, to name a few.
What if there were awards for the best performances in real life?
Best director: The best directors are those who oversee all efforts toward the realization of a creative, and often long-term, vision. The mother who directs the development of her children, the teacher who is passionately invested in the education of a classroom full of young students, the business owner or manager or executive who challenges and equips others to accomplish or create something that has never been done before. You know who you are: take a bow.
Best performance in a leading role: Great acting doesn’t usually look like acting. We forget we are watching a performance when the artist inhabits the role. This award in life goes to those who lead organizations, businesses, churches and families without calling attention to themselves. You know who you are: we applaud your humble leadership.
Best performance in a supporting role: Not everyone can have the lead role. Not everyone wants it. Those who live in supporting roles rarely get much attention, but of course, the outcome of every creative endeavor or life achievement requires the support of others. This award goes to those who encourage, provide funding, do dishes, answer phones, drive carpools, keep track of budgets and expenses, do laundry, or faithfully pray for others. You know who you are: bless you.
Best costume design, visual effects, makeup: This award goes to those who choose to put on positive attitudes and courage no matter what is going on in their lives. I’m thinking particularly of one friend of mine who has handled a breast cancer diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and more surgery (and resulting complications) all with an upbeat and hopeful perspective. My friend and others like her, you know who you are: we honor your commitment to meeting your challenges with strength and grace. You inspire us.
One day, when Jesus comes back, he will conduct a real life awards ceremony. He will recognize those who knew and served him for how they lived their lives in his name. That’s a red carpet event I do not want to miss.
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Matthew 16:27