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Dr. Dane Kovach was living the American dream — building his private orthodontic practice, married to his high school sweetheart, Kema, and raising four children. They were the epitome of a flourishing family.

Then he did the most bizarre thing.

He rid himself of all material possessions and moved his family somewhere they had never even visited — to a jungle in a third world country. A country historically known for cannibalism. The thought of moving her four little ones to Papua New Guinea terrified Kema, yet she agreed to go. She explains, “God has handcrafted each one of us with specific heavenly objectives in mind. Our Lord knows what He is doing and why He is doing it . . . That’s good enough for me.”

Kema not only supported her husband’s call, she joined him in shifting their family’s focus from the world’s standard of success to a biblical one. They went to Papua New Guinea to meet a huge need for a dentist. They went to serve as missionaries.

To Serve.

The Kovachs are the essence of John Maxwell’s description of leadership: “A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.”

Passion. Not position.

It’s easy to shine when we’re in the spotlight. Costume in place. Make-up concealing blemishes. Teeth whitened to perfection. Shape-wear holding tummy tight.

Then . . . the curtain falls. The roar of the audience fades. Darkness comes, and we’re left alone.

Alone. Yet not alone, for our loving Father sees.

He knows us inside and out to the core of our being. Stripped of facades and left naked before Him. He adores us. He calls us. He calls us “to shine like stars in the universe.” Not center stage in the limelight. Like stars.

Guess when stars shine? Yep, in the still night. In the darkness. Opposite of center stage.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite songs, “Audience of One” by Big Daddy Weave.

And Lord as the love song of my life is played, I have one desire.
To bring glory to your name. To my audience of one.

An anonymous servant. No applause. No recognition.

Prioritizing a life to please our Audience of One is a challenge with our jam-packed schedules. The world yells, “Hurry up! Climb to the top. Be successful!”

Instead, let’s be intentional about silencing the screams. Let’s deliberately slip into the shadows to focus on One. The One who fills us with Light so we can shine with joy, sparkling in the darkness for the only audience that matters.

Today: Read Philippians 2:12-16



~ Diving Deeper ~

Have you known someone who shined for Jesus
while serving in a most obscure way?
Share in the comments!

Susan Rush

Susan jokes that God didn't lead her to a career in hospice; He took her kicking and screaming the whole way. Twenty-five years later, she is passionate about end-of-life care. Susan enjoys speaking and writing about this final transition called death and sharing that when it appears to be the end, our loving Creator says, "It's only the beginning." Her inspirational hospice heroes fill the pages of her books, "Just Over the Horizon" and "Renew: 7 Days to a More Positive Outlook." Susan lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and three children.

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