One of my favourite wordsmiths writes to my heart with this article on the truth about platforms. It’s so good I’ll just clip the whole article here on my blog:
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We plant seeds here on the farm, kneel and put hands in the dirt.
From dust we have come and to dust we will return — we’re all just dust.
One of the kids kneels in the dirt, looks up, and asks:
“So, I asked this kid yesterday what he wanted to be someday? And he said he was going to be a famous player. Why do all the kids want to be famous? Is that kinda the point of everything — to become famous? What if I just — wanna be a farmer?”
I mention that to the kid:
That when plucky Jennifer Lawrence tripped in her festooning white gown, trying to get up on that platform to get her Oscar—the world kinda fell in love a bit more for her stumbling, blessed humanity.
Because, really now, who teaches you how to hold up the piles of taffeta and take the stairs for an Oscar?
Who teaches anyone how to stand up and be famous?
It just isn’t done—or at least, if you check out the headlines in the checkout aisle, it’s rarely done well.
Because the thing is, no one is meant to really stand on platforms.
Sure, everyone’s got a platform under them—every parent, every creative, every businessperson, every person who is standing somewhere, near someone.
Sure, the movers and shakers would have us thinking that a platform is what elevates your visibility above the crowd so your message finds its your audience.
But there’s a deeper current of Truth running through the cosmos:
And in a world where there are 93 million selfies taken a day and counting — the strange thing is, for all the striving to be seen: The more exposed we are, the more unknown we can feel.
Fame and feeling noticed —- isn’t the same as being known and feeling loved.
How do you tell the kids — that the truth is:
You don’t have to pursue fame to transcend your own mortality, because Christ pursues you and in Him you transcend all of time right into eternity.
The greatest venom of fame can be that you start thinking mostly about yourself — to the point of death by self.
And you’re not made to think mostly about self — you’re made to think about serving, about others, about giving away yourself.
It’s a conversation to have when you’re bending low in dirt, planting small seeds, dirt under your fingernails:
A platform is whatever one finds under one’s feet—and the only thing that is meant to be under a Christian is an altar.
The only call on a Christian is not to pick up a microphone, not to pick some stairs to some higher platform, but to pick up a cross and come die.
The only call on a Christian is to build every platform into the shape of an altar, to shape every platform into the form of sacrificial service.
Every platform, every microphone, every podium is meant to be a nail—fixing us to Christ, the only One lifted up.
The loamy earth is dark in our hands.
When our culture places a premium upon stardom — we live in perpetual dark.
Culture that is fixated on stardom misses the light of extraordinary people doing holy, ordinary work.
The sun is catching in the trees over the field, falling on the Farmer’s bent back, on the backs of the kids with their hands in dirt.
A boy looks up at his dad, smiles. And my heart kinda burns:
You will most deeply find yourself when you find yourself serving others — and looking up into the face of God.
The world tilts upside down and finally aright — when we see all platforms and the purpose of everything is simply taking on the form of service.
Serve from a real place:
A platform isn’t about remarkable marketing; it’s about serving in a remarkable way.
It’s about serving from a real place of humility, authenticity, and vulnerable transparency.
Cease striving to get to a higher, greater platform—and start praying to go lower to serve greater.
Jesus’ platform was a place of serving from His real humanity, as He walked and talked and broke and gave away His real life. The most remarkable platforms are those that are altars that leave the mark of the sacrificed Christ.
Serve a real need:
A platform is a holy place to kneel down and wash the very real wounds of the hurting. Jesus’ platform wasn’t about pushing his agenda or ‘product,’ but about caring for people’s afflictions and pain.
Serve real value:
A platform isn’t about self-serving, but is about humbly serving possible solutions. Jesus’ platform was about bending low to offer that which had real, eternal value.
I find a way to tell that kid kneeling down in the dirt:
Could have been the tulle and satin that made Jennifer Lawrence trip trying to get up to that platform. Might be what you see in checkout headlines and in the pages of the Good Book:
The soul was never made to carry the weight of fame.
The frame of a soul was never made for fame. The frame of a soul was made to serve.
Fame can only be carried by the One who could carry the weight of the world on that Cross.
“You know what I think, Son?” I turn to the boy planting his seeds in dirt. “I think if you could talk to Jennifer Lawrence or all the famous players in whatever big league they’ve landed in? I think they’d tell you all the same thing….”
I lean over, lay a few more seeds into his open hand.
“I think everyone should get rich and famous and get all the things they want — to find out that none of that’s the answer that they really want.”
And the boy half-grins and nods, plants his small seeds in the warm dirt.
And there’s a way to believe in the value of The Seed Life, a way to believe in the eternal answers found in small things that do the best work in hidden ways.
The boy and I and his dad, we plant seeds, the knees of old jeans worn and dirt-laden with the bending, with the brave beauty of going lower.