Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My Academy Awards

My family insisted on watching the Academy awards Sunday night. I like the pre-shows and seeing all the fancy dresses, but I take a pass on the actual awards presentations. I have a personal problem with all the hoopla and extravagance of the event. I mean, yes, actors should be recognized for their achievements, but it’s just become too much. All the money spent on this event, which will be over and forgotten in a matter of days, could have made such a lasting difference if put toward more needed and worthier causes.

And it’s not just the waste of money that bothers me. It’s the waste of attention, of esteem, of time and energy. On Sunday night, a handful of men and women were getting a huge portion of our country’s personal resources because they’re good at pretending! There’s just something unbalanced about that.

So I got to thinking…if I could create an awards show, who would I honor? So here’s my not quite exhaustive list:

Jim—the kindest, most generous man I’ve ever known. He works two full-time jobs so our family can enjoy the luxuries of life, such as a home in a nice neighborhood, music lessons and sports activities for the kids. He sacrifices his life energy for us. And I love him for that.

McKenna—who has an overabundance of creativity. She adds beauty to the world with colors, shapes, scents and words which gladden hearts and uplift spirits.

Stephen—the gentle giant, protector of the weak, champion of the underdog. He exudes stability and security. The world is a safe place when Stephen is around.

Christopher—who has a tender and giving heart. He took two weeks off work to go help his grandfather clean up a rental unit and get it ready to sell.

Melanie—who has great patience, kindness and a gift for working with those who are considered “less than” in our society, children, the elderly, the handicapped.

Megan—who has the gift of being happy. By her example, she teaches those around her to stop and enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer.

Roger & Lucille—who were, and still are, always there for me anytime I need them. They love, they listen and they offer wonderful advice.

Dennis—a divorced father of two whose job requires him to work in a city four hours away from the town where his children live. He maintains a household in both places and makes the 4 hour drive each way to see his kids every weekend.

Suan—the glue that holds her siblings together. She reminds us to honor and to celebrate each other and the special events in our lives.

Elaine—who can find the humor in every situation. Despair finds no foothold while we’re laughing at ourselves, and Elaine gives us plenty to laugh about.

Colleen—whose gift with words and connection with the divine is an inspiration to many.

Monteen—whose wisdom is hard won through experience, and yet she gives it freely.

Sandra—whose loyalty and dependability have seen me through many trials.

Jana—who generously gives to others, whose kind heart reaches those in need, and whose example has inspired me and given me strength over and over again.

Dave & Sharon—who went above and beyond the call of duty during and after my divorce. They opened their home and their hearts, included us in family holidays, drove me to the hospital when I was injured, dealt with dead mice, provided encouragement and advice, and in many other ways took care of me and my children during our time of great need.

Like the actors accepting their awards, I find myself unable to thank all the people who have added to and enriched my life. But I hope that over the years, I have let you know who you are.

And last, but never least, I acknowledge my Lord and Savior—who doesn’t need my measly recognition of His place of honor in the world or in my heart, but who I want to praise anyway.