Non-Essential Personnel

     A recent rash of record breaking tornadoes over the past several days has taken its toll in power outages, property destruction, and, most sadly, loss of life in several Southern states. Please remember these people in prayer and seek out opportunities to assist them. They need our help. The following day as the information of closures in the surrounding areas due to these storms scrolled across the bottom of the screen, one particular announcement kept getting my attention. A local college was going to be closed, however, they were requesting that all nonessential personnel report to work at 10:00 a.m.
     My first reaction was how badly I felt for these employees. The phrase somehow seemed to devalue these people.  How would you feel if that were the adjective included in your job title.  I don’t know about you, but my self esteem would not be soaring.  My second reaction was why do they even need  to show up if they are “non-essential.” If they were the only ones reporting to campus that day, obviously they were quite essential.
     Perhaps I am taking this thought process way too far, and noone there is offended by the phrase.  Perhaps it just hits too close to home because I have felt that way before, and knowing that feeling provoked empathy in me for those folks. Have you ever felt that way…non-essential.  It’s not that you are non-productive. You may be working fiercely to be the best employee, the best parent, or the best servant of God.  There you are, giving it your all, and it seemingly goes unnoticed. A little encouragement, a bit of validation would certainly help you on your way.  You crave being recognized as “essential” in the circle of your influence.
     I don’t believe that our efforts are overlooked by those around us nearly as much as we think.  I believe we live in such a fast paced society that we simply don’t take time to share our appreciation and give encouragement to others. On that note, take some opportunity each day to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Encourage them, appreciate them, give them that much needed hug or pat on the back. Maybe they in turn will do likewise for you. That change could start with us.
     Ultimately though at the end of the day, it is not in the praise and approval of others that we will find our worth. Our worth is found in Christ alone.  He is honored and surely pleased with us as we do even the smallest of things in our day as unto Him. And because of all that we have in Christ – salvation, forgiveness, unconditional love, eternity in heaven with Him – we don’t want to be the ones receiving all the praise here on earth. We want people to see Christ shining through us. We want them to see Him. That’s why we are here. As we have been told, it is not about us. And if our hearts and motives for what we do are pure and for the glory of God, our time of praise will come. We will hear Him say to us, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”  What higher praise or validation could we ever receive.

     So know that in God’s sight you are anything but non-essential in who you are and what you do.  You are His child.  Someone special enough and loved enough that He sacrificed His son, Jesus, on your behalf. You are someone He has equipped with a special purpose here on earth. Live your life to bring praise to Him.  Their will be blessings. He will encourage you. You are an essential part of God’s plan.  So when you think nobody notices or cares, rest assured He does. He is pleased, and you are precious in His sight. 

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