I know as Christians, we’re supposed to focus on Christ and not on the entire bag of chocolate-covered almonds I just ate – oh my gosh, I just realized I ate the WHOLE bag!
What I was saying was that I find myself feeling like a failure lately.
Oh, not a complete failure. Just a failure.
How do I know this?
Because I know myself and my malcontent often decides to manifest itself in two major emotions - jealousy and judgment.
I didn’t used to be a jealous person. It was a foreign emotion to me. I was happy being me. But as I age, I find myself falling prey to the green-eyed monster.
For instance, I become jealous over THE stupidest things. Last night after church, I noticed the new young couple that had sat next to us during the service was being befriended by the family that sat behind us, and I thought, “I can’t believe THEM. WE were sitting next to them. Let US reach out for once.” How STUPID is that?! I mean really – where’s the unity of the body of Christ in that emotion?
I also find myself becoming judgmental over things that ARE NONE OF MY BUSINESS. Example? I was reading the blog of yet another family that is hopping on the home school bandwagon, and I found myself rolling my eyes in judgment. Why do I even care? They’re not MY kids! I don’t even NEED to have an opinion on schooling yet, you know?
And there I was being judge and jury on a legitimate, Christian lifestyle choice.
Who do I think I am, you know?
So, how does this all tie in to feeling like a failure? I’m not sure. I never used to be a negative person, but sometimes I find myself trolling websites and blogs just spoiling for a fight. Something to disagree on. To put my two cents in. To matter.
I think it stems from my ambition as a writer. The more I read, the more I feel like everyone has said everything that needs to be said. My thoughts are nothing new, exciting, and might not even be (gasp!) right. I hate feeling like not one thought in my head is original.
In the age of information and technology, it’s hard to distinguish yourself from the talented hordes and hacks presenting their work to the world on a daily basis. Transparency seems trite, and there are too many people who won’t be impressed.
Oh, it’s not like I thought I would win the Pulitzer prize or that my books would outsell Harry Potter. It’s just that I thought I would stand apart somehow. If apart means out, then it applies, but if apart means special, then I’m out.
It boils down to what my Dad said. His favorite phrase was that “It’s not about us; it’s about Him.”
My focus shouldn’t be on me and my shortcomings – though they are like matter sucking black holes in their infiniteness. My focus – THE focus – should be on God and His Honor and His glory.
It’s so easy for me to forget and find myself focusing on me. Myself. And I.
But it’s moments like these, when the Holy Spirit nudges me, I realize the sin that can result from an inward glance instead of an upward glance. So please pray for me. That I would find my contentment in Christ.
Not in myself. And not in that bag of chocolate-covered almonds.
As good as they were.