Recently I took this photograph of myself, ready to use in some publicity for a forthcoming magic show (watch this space for the show publicity, and check out the ‘playing cards and sawing people in half’ page for information about my magic and the club to which I belong). I had to use a tripod and a timer in order to take it as Sally was busy but I had taken her advice about the pose.
I found it really difficult to do. I don’t like having my photo taken anyway, but having to do it by setting the camera, pressing the button, rushing back to the other side of the camera, perform the card spread, smile at the camera and try to look relaxed and trying to do all of that before the camera went ‘click’ was quite exhausting. After each shot I had to go back to see what it looked like before resetting the camera and trying again, and again, and again. It wasn’t a case of being able to take a ‘selfie’ because I needed both hands free for the playing card spread.
In the end I was satisfied with the outcome. I even changed it to become my Facebook profile picture and have been amazed at how many ‘likes’ it has received. But the thing is most people will have no idea about how much effort went into taking the photo, and how many other things were going on ‘behind the scenes’ – such as finding a black cloth as a backdrop, working out how to suspend it, working out the pose, deciding on what I could do that looked magical (I ruled out having Stew the Rabbit because people might think it’s a children’s show), and so on.
And there is no reason that people need to know that (although you do now). As far as they are concerned it is a photograph of me doing a spread with playing cards. As far as the publicity for the show goes, I am not sure people will even pay that much attention to what I am doing except that it involves playing cards.
How many times do we get ‘miffed’ because people don’t realise how much effort we have put into something and have taken it for granted? How many times do we take for granted what someone has done without thinking about the amount of effort that has gone into it?
When it comes to being a follower of Jesus it helps me to remember that I am ‘performing for an audience of one’ (hopefully there will be a few more people at our show). Whatever we do is not for human praise or recognition. Those who seek to follow Jesus need to remember that it is a calling to be like him – a servant – and that whatever we do can be done as an act of worship to him. His is the only applause that matters. Yes it’s nice to be encouraged and commended and recognised by others, but I would rather have a ‘nice job’ nod from Jesus than a standing ovation from a crowd!
For whom are you performing?
Be blessed, be a blessing