I think it is a common desire to be noticed. Everyone wants to be recognized for what they are doing especially when it comes to their work. Regardless of where you are working, for a big company or for your family, you want your work to be noticed, appreciated, and commended. It's normal! However, it is something we can't get hung up on.
A few years back I decided to start a new tradition with some of the leaders who work with me. I know what it's like being a volunteer leader. You feel like you are working hard on top of all of your other responsibilities and trying to not get burned out in the process. It just feels nice to be reminded that what you are doing matters. So I always try to be that reminder. But I decided that it was worth the investment in these leaders to treat them to a little getaway. A short retreat that would refresh and inspire them to be who God created them to be. Way worth the investment! Inspired leaders will inspire others every time.
I pitched it to them and they seemed excited. They seemed to anxious and excited to get away even just for a night. Yes. Success!
So the weekend rolls around and spirits were up. Most of them had never been on a leadership retreat of any kind so it was a new experience for them. As much as that worked in our favor, it worked against us as well. I felt like some did not get the picture of what to expect for the weekend, so they imagined more of a vacation rather than a retreat. Others just seemed to be a little too go with the flow if you know what I mean (they are so flexible it seems like they couldn't care less). With these two dynamics, some appearing to be frustrated we weren't going to see the sights and others just content to sit around, I have to admit I was disappointed. And if you want another reason to write me off as a baby, no one seemed appreciative. Not one person said, "Oh my goodness, thank you Dalayna for putting this together for us," or, "Wow, it was so nice to be treated to this weekend. Thank you planning this... and getting our speaker... and our dinner... and our activities. I really enjoyed this!" Nope, nothing like that. Not a word of thanks. Nothing.
While I am sure they did enjoy themselves, I was the immature one waiting for them to say so. Sure it is fitting for them to say thank you, but my point is I should not have been waiting for their recognition for all my hard work. Giving that gift to them should have been enough for me. You see we shouldn't be living and working for anyone's pat on the back. We should be doing what we believe in. We should be working for what we believe in. People will always disappoint us. We will always feel under-appreciated at times, but as long as we are working for a purpose we won't be disappointed with ourselves. I can recover from someone being let down, but if I let myself down that is a true tragedy.
I encourage you to live and work and fight for what you believe in. Live with a purpose. Not for the purpose of pleasing and impressing others, but to please and impress God. The bible tells us that God sees what we do in secret and rewards us openly. You see, God's approval is the only one we need. When He applauds you everyone hears it.