Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Spotlight

I'm sharing in today's post my article for our senior adults' monthly newsletter, the Joyful Tidings. My column for the newsletter appears under the heading "Snowden's Senior Spotlight."

As I toyed with the idea of what to write about in this month’s edition of the Joyful Tidings, my mind wandered to the title of my monthly column that was selected 5 years ago from suggestions given to Virginia Rygaard, the editor of this newsletter. At that time Virginia offered to the person with the winning submission a free year’s subscription to the Joyful Tidings. [That's a joke of course as they are all free anyway.] I don’t know who the grand prize winner was that suggested “Snowden’s Senior Spotlight” as the name for the column, but I trust you’ve enjoyed reading my random thoughts each month, published under your prize-winning name.

A spotlight is generally associated with a performance on a stage, and its primary function is to draw attention to a featured performer—be it a singer, dancer, musician, speaker, or other gifted entertainer. Quite often the stage may be filled with other individuals performing supporting roles, each one carrying out their assigned tasks, while the person in the spotlight is the focus of attention. Imagine with me that the spotlighted individual is a singer being accompanied by a philharmonic orchestra. The crowd certainly will watch and listen to the soloist singing, but what would the performance be minus all of the component members of the orchestra? The rich, full-bodied tones of the cellos, the haunting melody of the oboes, the deep reverberations of the kettle drums, and every other instrument present adds its voice to the music that enriches the experience of the concert-goers as they listen to the soloist.

Not everyone can sing like the Italian tenor Pavarotti and occupy center stage where the spotlight shines brightest. In life, most of us will have to learn to be content with playing our role in the shadows, out of the spotlight. Let us never forget, however, that when we serve others, we are doing so as unto the Lord Himself. And to Him who notices even the smallest sparrow that falls to earth, and who numbers the hairs of our head, even the smallest deed of kindness matters greatly. Three times in Matthew 6, Jesus assures us that the Father who sees what is done in secret will reward us. May our only concern be that the spotlight of God will reveal work done heartily as unto the Lord and not for the praise of men.


Joel said...

Great article. It's a shame that most the business world usually rewards the most boisterous and self-promoting people. Knowing that God rewards those who work behind the scenes to help others is comforting.

I also believe that the further people get pushed into the spotlight, the more likely they are to struggle with wordly temptations. People begin believing the words that are spoken about them, and lose sight on the bigger picture.

Gary Snowden said...


I think your assessment is quite accurate regarding the temptations that come with folks being thrust into the spotlight. Many begin to believe their press clippings and fail to recognize that the gifts and talents they have are a direct blessing from God. The lack of humility shown by so many clearly indicates that they've lost sight of this important truth.