“I’d like to thank the Academy…”
Acceptance speeches are as much a staple of the Oscars as the gold man himself.
Every year we sit through seemingly endless lists of names—cast members, directors, producers, crew, and anybody else who ever lived. We’ve sat through long silences (I’m looking at you, Jacqueline Bisset), drunken ramblings, and the occasional glimpse at the overwhelming insecurity of Hollywood actors (Sally Field: “You like me! You really like me!”)
But rarely do we hear someone thank God.
Even though most of us don’t get our names called by a man in a tuxedo on a glass stage, get handed trophies for our accomplishments, and praised in the press for our accolades, we each make little “acceptance speeches” in our minds every time we succeed.
When we get promotions at work, whom do we accredit? When we graduate with honors, whom do we pat on the back? When we get approved for loans, or make new friends, get bar mitzvah, get married, make money, or even just have a good hair day—which is the person of praise?
Us. We rock. We worked hard, we studied, we pushed, we grew, we put ourselves out there. We may be grateful for those who helped us in the climb, but we often still only see ourselves there at the summit of accomplishment. And that’s how the world encourages us to think. From motivational posters to television commercials, men and women are preached a message of self-empowerment—that the secret to our success lies in our own able hands.
A mother, a director, a teacher—many may have helped us in our trail of triumphs—but there is only One behind the scenes, orchestrating the show. Even the writer of Proverbs, who penned the book over three thousand years ago, understood this to be true. “The heart of man plans his way but the Lord establishes the steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
God is opening doors of opportunity, protecting us from unseen danger, and spreading out the red carpet beneath our feet. Yet He hears our inner monologue of self-affirmation and often goes unmentioned.
So next time we’re about to take the stage to bask in our own glory, let’s remember who really deserves the trophy.