Monday, December 13, 2010

Numbers Dancing Around in My Head

Time for true confessions --  
I am rather competitive. 
You see,  I can be a bit competitive (okay, more than a bit) at the starting line of a race.  My blood begins to race, I get these tingling twitches in my legs, and I start seeing through the lens of the eye of the tiger. I just can’t help it.
However, this competitive spirit can rear its ugly head in some not so favorable ways.  Somewhere along the way, it morphs in to something totally different. Rather than competing in a healthy way, I start to compete against myself which gradually turns in to me defining myself by my successes and degrading myself for what I view to be failure.
Specifically, it’s been about my blog lately.  Two years ago, this month, I started it for three reasons (not necessarily in this order):
#1:  I love to write.
#2:  I felt the Lord impress on my heart to write for Him the things about Himself, life and myself that He shows me.
#3:  I love to encourage women.  It is my desire and joy to bring truth and hope to them, through the silliness, the seriousness and the sorrows of life.
But here’s the problem -- although I still feel strongly about these three things,  I also began to get caught up in the world of “The Numbers” and lately, they've been dancing around in my head. Yuck.
I started to realize that if I had a lot of “hits” in a day, I felt pretty good about myself. BUT (and it was getting to be a pretty big BUT) if I did not have as many as I hoped for, I would get discouraged and feel like maybe I should hang up the pen.
I went to the Lord (finally) and shared with Him my disappointment in myself. Why was I so easily influenced by numbers?  I knew better, but I couldn’t seem to loosen my grip on determining part of my value by whether lots or little people read my blog.
I knew what I had to do – stop checking the numbers.  I needed to go back to the reasons that I started in the first place. I needed to separate myself from the statistic counter and go with what God called me to do in the first place – write for Him, enjoy the process and trust that He would use it as He deemed fit. 
So, I’m four days in to “fasting from checking the numbers” and I feel better already. I made a commitment to the Lord that I wasn’t going to check until Christmas and I don’t like to break my promises to Him.  After Christmas, I’ll chat with the Lord on how I will handle the next phase.
Hebrews 12 says, “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus … consider Him so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 
I’m taking my eyes off the numbers and off of allowing my successes or failures to determine my value. It’s a challenge, but it’s coming, and in the process I am finding that as I keep my eyes on Jesus, I truly am less prone to growing weary and losing heart and more able to have a healthy perspective on me and the world around me.
Life is full of lessons, isn’t it?   

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