“the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.”
Have you ever wanted to be famous?
Did you want to have the game winning home run, where the crowd mobs you, lifts you up on their shoulders and sings Queen's infamous song, "We are the champions?" The "we" obviously meaning the most incredible you.
Did you want to be nominated prom king or queen, all eyes on you as you wear the crown and get down to Abba's "Dancing Queen" or some other song about royalty?
Did you want a blog with more than your mom for a subscriber?
Be honest the paparazzi are not going to bust you out on TMZ. There's no shame in wanting a little fame, right?
I grew up with a tv show titled "Fame." I haven't heard the theme song since the 1980's (a decade of some of my favorite famous people) yet I still remember the lyrics.
I'm gonna live forever.
I'm gonna learn how to fly,
I feel it coming together,
People will see me and cry,
You have to emphasize the last word, "fame," otherwise the song sounds stupid. Who wants people to see them and spontaneously burst into tears? The show was about a group of performing art students who all wanted to be famous. As a kid, that song resonated with me, I too had an itch to be famous. I would practice my autograph. I would picture my name in the credits and not for something obscure like "animal wrangler."
I made homemade movies, comic books, novels, board games, magic shows and a cousin formed band called "2 Cool." We would have done a great job performing for you during your prom king or queen dance.
My living room was a stage and my family was the reluctant audience.
Eventually I outgrew the desire to be famous. I watched enough "Life Styles of the Rich and Famous" to know that life on the other side of the camera is not all glitter and gold. There's a lot of temptations that come with the celebrity status. It's hard not to think that the world revolves around you when everyone is desperate to take a selfie with you.
But as I read “the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.” I wonder, does fame have to be a bad thing?
In the writing world they talk about the importance of building your platform. What kind of reach do you have through social media? How many Pinterest pals, Facebook friends and Twitter followers like what you have to say?
I have a book that I've been shopping around. One of the top publishing companies was very excited about the project for five months. But they decided to not publish because my platform wasn't quite big enough. It was probably the best break up letter I have ever received. Here's a small excerpt from it:
"We strongly believe that your work should be published...However, in the end, the platform piece is too much of an obstacle for us at this time."
I found myself struggling with the concept of platform at first. In a religion of humility I find myself drawn to obscurity. I don't want to be the Center of attention. I don't care about who has the most Twitter followers. But humility and popularity are not enemies. Jesus was popular while never allowing the crowds to shape his sense of worth. There's two different types of celebrities. The type who exist to serve their fans and those who exist to be served by their fans.
Joshua was famous because he kept having God-size wins. He just convinced his people that the best way to attack Jericho was to march around it until the walls magically fell down. That's a terrible battle plan. General Patton would have rolled his eyes. Joshua lived for an audience of one. He didn't follow God's lead because he wanted to be famous, he followed because he wanted to be faithful.
Maybe you don't want the status of Beatle mania or Bieber fever but you would like to be known by more than just a few friends and family. The bigger the stage the more people you can influence for the good.
For Joshua it was a three step process
What was God asking him to do?
Joshua had to act on God's lead no matter how small or silly the action might be.
He had to give God credit for the victory.
What has God inspired you to do?
What's keeping you from acting on it?
Perhaps God wants to put your name in the same place as Joshua's.
“the LORD was with _________, and his/her fame spread throughout the land.”