I don’t watch awards shows. Not the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Grammy’s, the CMAs?, none of it. I am not into what somebody wears, or who is dating who. I don’t care about a bunch of people from one industry honoring each other. Why not watch the Dry Cleaning awards where all those who do dry cleaning vote for who dry cleaned the best this year? It just seems a little weird to me to watch a bunch of movie stars give each other trophies. Why not televise YMCA award banquets? There are even more trophies to see! I am not putting down anyone who watches and enjoys awards shows like the Oscars. But let’s remember, Nicolas Cage has won an Oscar for ACTING!
But mostly I don’t watch awards shows is because they are meaningless. They are useless. The reason they are useless is that getting an award may have nothing to do with actual performance. Example: a movie could win “Best Picture”. That only means that some small group of people think it is the best picture. Only twice in the past 34 years has the “Best Picture” winner been the top grossing movies of that year. So the movie everyone goes to see is rarely voted the best.
I am not implying that the movie that makes the most money is automatically the best movie. But rather that the award of “Best Picture” is obviously subjective. A small group of people voted for it more than a few other movies. Therefore it is the best. Most years the “Song of the Year” is not most people’s favorite song.
People receive awards for lots of reasons besides actually being the best. They may get voted in out of sympathy, long-earned respect, or lack of anyone else doing a half-decent job. Voters may carry a grudge against the most deserving, therefore someone wins by default. So I don’t put much stock in awards.
But what if awards actually mattered? What if we could find people doing really remarkable stuff and award them for it? What if we put people in the limelight who otherwise would be unknown? What would that awards show look like?
So today I want to give out some awards (sorry there is no actual trophy involved). But these aren’t awards for famous people. These are awards for those who have done something profound, but without ever considering an award might come their way.
Our first award: Best Performance of a Song at a Funeral. Look, it was cold. How do you play guitar with frozen fingers? There was no microphone. I know you were struggling with sickness affecting your voice. But Lyndsey Womack and Jessalyn Massingill came through. They brought honor to a family, a sweet woman, and to Jesus.
Best Sermon Lived Rather Than Preached. She consistently shows up. Baby shower. Funeral. Bringing food. Giving folks a ride who don’t have one. Filling up communion cups. Teaching children. Never looking to be thanked. Never asking to be noticed. Well Andrea Gette I see you. And now we all do.
Best Sermon Response. People will come and tell me I did a good job with the sermon. They will write me a note and thank me. They might even say “Amen”. But only Bonnie Buchanan is willing to say something out loud in response. To repeat a line and then laugh whole-heartedly. Right in the middle of the sermon. It is wonderful and makes me want to do better. Don’t stop Bonnie!
Lifetime Achievement Award. You shouldn’t have to be old or dead to get a lifetime award. The criteria should be “what have you done with your life?” no matter how long that life has been. So the award goes to young Ben Camp. No one belts out a song in church like Ben. No one. And he means it. Just this week I heard about a “secret club” Ben started. They are meeting this week. I am sure they will do goofy stuff, have secret handshakes, play as young boys do. But they are starting the meeting by going to a park and cleaning up trash! Take that Martin Scorsese.
Like any awards show we don’t have time to get all the winners up on stage. So check out this list.
Best New Person: Serenity Kaczmerak.
Most Likely To Help You Out: Creg Istre.
Best Servant in a Supporting Role: Jonathan Stinson.
Makes Me Smile Just by Showing Up: Wayne Brock.
You may be reading this and think, I don’t know any of these people. Yes you do. There are people just like this in your life. At your job. In your church. What awards do you need to give out? Who deserve a little honor, a little recognition? Find those people. Tell them how much you appreciate them. Give out the awards that matter.