Affirm Me

Affirm Me

By Adebayo Okeowo:

We want to be applauded

We crave to be recognized

We desire to be appreciated

If you do not have these feelings, then my first thought is to say that you are an alien. But, since aliens are yet to be on earth and have access to sites like the Reader's Cafe, my conclusion will be to say you are lying to yourself.

All those who do not need affirmation, please stand up!

You stood up?! I bet you really didn't mean to stand up. Or maybe you stood up to ask me to repeat my question. Ok, let me quit the sarcasm already.

The desire to be appreciated is in all of us (including those denying it). It becomes a big deal sometimes when we are not appreciated. You can ask the lady who just plaited her hair and her boyfriend or husband didn't even as little as say: “oh you look different!”

How about you put yourself in the shoes of a student who just placed his school's name on the international scene and all he got was a handshake from the principal in his office, with the doors closed and with just his teacher as the only other person in the room. No party thrown, no special memo passed, no announcements made! Nothing! Zilch! Nada!

Then I'm thinking of the guy who went out of his way, spent more than half of his monthly salary and almost broke his neck just to ensure his woman had the most fantastic birthday ever! And all he gets is, “Aww, thank you” which was the same thing he heard her say to some dude who just attended the birthday party with a simple birthday card. No heartfelt sms, no phone call later in the day, no thank you peck or hug, just “Aww, thank you”!

Or maybe the employee who just, through her creativity and ingenuity, clinched a million dollar contract for her company and the best she got was a pat on the back. No promotion or pay increase. They did not even give her a new office with the sea view. Still the same old cubicle!

The list goes on, you can fill in the blanks.

Why do you think we have the Oscars? Or the Grammys? The AMAs, the AMENs, the Dove or the Stellar Awards? If we did not have them, then we would have had them. I'm sorry if I seem to confuse you, but I just can't figure out this world without the awards. People want to be appreciated! What I may not be able to figure out is, why so many of them?

Let me talk about God. He is the self existing self sufficient God, the sufficiency of the saints but guess what, He still requires us to give Him glory, to enthrone Him, to extol and magnify Him. He so desires we do this that if the whole human race were to lose it all and fail to praise Him, He will raise stones to do so in our place (Luke 19:40). That's why a song writer said I ain't gonna let no rock cry out in my place. So who are you to say you don't want to be appreciated? When the Almighty Himself is a recipient of praise and He dwells in it.

For example, at the end of this piece I want to be able to see a comment that says “Well done… nice piece…” Makes me feel like Tom Cruise: Mission Accomplished!

However after all has been said and done, I assess myself, I look at this world and I am persuaded that even though I want men to applaud me, there is only one applause that I truly need – the applause of Heaven! The applause of God Himself. The affirmation from the Father when He brags and says “That's my son right there”. I want to imagine God summoning the Trinity, and calling the assembly of the angels just to say: “That one down there puts a smile on my face and makes the crucifixion worth it!” Wow! That's way better than a thousand Grammys, I'm not even kidding!

Many people are sad because they never heard the most important people in their life tell them how beautiful they are. There are those who also wish someone could affirm how they have made their family proud by the giant strides they took. But those words never came. Let us not revel in the accolades we receive from men. When it comes, celebrate it and accept it. But let us not crave it to the point that we miss out on the most important approval of all.

It is His applause that I genuinely crave even as I draw the last stroke of this piece. FATHER, affirm me!

Founder and Editor in Chief of the Readers Cafe Africa

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