A few days ago, I opened up my email and smiled. Not only was there two raving reviews about Blood Ransom, but an email from my agent letting me know that an editor was requesting a series from me for possible publication. Not bad for one day.
But then I opened the last email. It was from a fellow writer friend of mine who was passing on some not so good news. Apparently, we each had a book we'd written that been voted on a site as being the two worst books this blogger had read so far this year.
I was quickly smacked back down to reality, but it also got me thinking. How often do we put our confidence in what we do? We win an award, receive a compliment, and get that pat on the back for something we did at work and we're on the top of the world. But that happens when our boss complains about our work, our best friend is mad at something we did (or didn't do), the kids whine about dinner, and the bathroom scale registers a few pounds to high.
It's like a yo-yo that never stops bouncing. Or when it does, it leaves us feeling as if the world has crashed in around us.
Here is what I was reminded of. I'm more than what I do. Yes, there are people who love my books, but there are also clearly those who don't. I've never reached the best-sellers list in the CBA let alone the New York Times list, but that's okay, because that isn't who I am.
So who am I? Who are you?
We are children of the King of Kings, the creator of the universe. God has called us to follow Him, to serve others through His strength, to find intimacy with Him, and to discover that who I am is not based my accomplishment anymore than it is based on my regrets and failures.
Does that mean I stop trying to make that best-seller list? No way. But in the meantime, I don't ever want to forget who I really am.
Paul put it this way, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
I love this photo of this elephant, because I see contentment in his expression. Cool water, plenty to eat, and probably a bunch of fellow elephants hanging around with him in the background...
God, I want to be more like you. Content to dream big, but also to enjoy the ups and downs of the journey while I get there. I want to be content to love family, friends, and those around me. I want to be content to serve others in Your name. Content to cry with those around me when my heart is breaking, and then to never forget that true contentment can not be found in my circumstances, but because You are the one who gives me strength to get through each day.
I know there are a number of you who right now are going through times that make finding any form of contentment seem impossible, and my heart breaks for you. For today, I'm praying that God's peace, a peace that transcends all human understanding and logic, guards your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Be blessed today!