Christmas is right around the corner. Did you get your Black Friday deals? Thousands of people flocked into malls for the best deals in town. Every year it is absolute madness! Recently I was in a conversation with people preparing to brave the Black Friday crowds. Specifically there was talk about Kate Spade. Apparently there were lines of people there on Thanksgiving Day! Yikes. It prompted me to ask what the appeal is for brand name products. Was it better quality? Was it the designs that stood out above all other products? While it seems some of those things are taken into consideration, the conclusion was simply to have the name recognition. You want people to know you have a Kate Spade wallet or a Tori Burch purse, just for the sake of saying you have it.
The reality is many of the name brand products are not necessarily better quality. Nike for example is so popular. To have that Swoosh is a definite status symbol. Does it make it a better shoe? Not necessarily. I’ve definitely had better quality shoes, but when I am in a store my eyes are drawn to the Nike shoes. Brands often become popular because a celebrity endorsed it. If you think about what Michael Jordan did for Nike, brand recognition. Jordan is himself a brand.
Often we try to make ourselves into a designer name. Maybe it’s by the way we act, or how we dress. Perhaps its measured by our wealth or our status. Whatever it is, I believe we all have that aspiration to “be somebody” to be recognized. Haven’t you ever wanted to be the next______________________?
When I was in high school I wanted so much to be “cool”, I wanted to be recognized. I did not have the resources or attributes to be cool so I often did stupid things to get recognition and probably hurt many people along the way. Being “designer” was something I strived for, something that I felt I needed to have and I was often depressed because I didn’t have what it took to be known the way I wanted to be known.
In Sunday school the question was asked, “What do you want your legacy to be?” I apologized if it came across as self-righteous, but I answered, “I just want people to say, ‘Jason genuinely followed Jesus and committed his life to his faith.’” With all the things that I had done in my past many people from my past were shocked to hear I was a pastor. I tried so hard to develop my own brand name, to be “designer” and because of the grace of God, I know now that I am the perfect result of the Divine Designer. The Creator of all things had every detail planned out for me. In one of my favorite Psalms David says to the Lord, “For you formed my inward parts you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13,14
Hopefully you are not as misguided as I was to seek to be recognized. Hopefully you already know that you are fashioned by THE Designer. You are perfectly made and perfected in the full recognition of God’s grace. I hope today you see that in yourself and you see that in others. Gift giving is a fun and wonderful tradition, but know that the greatest gift you can ever receive is the gift of God’s grace. In His grace through Jesus Christ our soul will know very well that His works are wonderful! -jason