Monday, August 19, 2013

"And, This Award Goes To..."

Awards Ceremony

At my school we have a lovely practice of acknowledging teachers who have done something extra special, walked the extra mile, not for any reward,  just because they care about kids.  Usually these teachers are nominated by their colleagues.  The grand prize is "Employee of the Month".  This award includes a T-shirt and a fabulous parking spot. More than it's perks, this award fills the individual with joy to know their contributions and their sacrificed are valued by others.  Nonetheless, there are teachers that perhaps feel as if they deserve such award, but have never received it.  

A similar story is about a woman named Martha.  She and her sister were having guests over and she wanted her house to look fab, and the meal to be ready, and the details to be covered. In contrast, her sister cared about mingling with the guests and acknowledging them.  Oodles of devotionals have been written about these two sisters.  Poor Martha  gets criticized frequently because it looks like she cared more about what her house looked like and serving the guests than she did about the guests.  I think I understand her stress and frustration.  She was concerned with the external needs of her guests and the details were overwhelming.  I can certainly relate.  And, how striking it must have been for her when she complained to Jesus about her sister's "laziness", and she's the one that got admonished.  Really?  Mary gets the acknowledgement when Martha did all the work.  

~ Lessons Learned ~

How do I balance extrinsic and intrinsic rewards?

 As a teacher I know the effectiveness of giving positive feedback.  It is a powerful motivator.  The same is true for everyone, regardless of age or profession.  I guess we'd all like to admit that we don't need it, but if we're honest with ourselves, we do.  However, in all likelihood, we may not receive a pat on the back for every single good deed.  In my experience, when I find my need for verbal compliments becomes unbalanced, I have to stop and do something before my feeling of being overlooked becomes larger than it ought to.   I pause and remember that sometimes the only ones that will know the good I have done is the Lord and me.  And, this is actually a good thing.  I host an internal award ceremony.  And, as I give myself the award, I then give it back to Him.  And, he says, "Well Done".  What freedom...  It was His all along.

"Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven."
Matthew 5:12






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