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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Green-Eyed Monster and Why I Want Your Half of the Cookie



I love discovering talented bloggers on the internet. That is, unless they have more talent than me. It happened recently; I stumbled upon yet another brilliant and hilarious writer with enough profundities to elicit hundreds of comments from hundreds of followers. I read several posts before going to bed and then, do you know what I did? I'll tell you what I did. No I won't. Yes I will.


I sank beneath my blankets and cried like a two-year-old who got the smaller half of the cookie.

The next morning I cried some more, this time at the realization that I am still dealing with the green-eyed monster. I'd thought I was over him long ago. But there he was, taunting me. Why did you ever think you could write? Let the numbers speak for themselves, Loser.


It came out of nowhere and took me by surprise, because 99.8364% of the time I luuv my country-girl, small-town, no-name, nonGooglable, unTwittered, little-published, simple and slow-paced life. In fact, I normally pity people dealing with the stress of success and pining for fame.

But there I was, acting very abnormal. I said, abnormal. Friends, God did not design us to be this crazy!

Then I got a grip:



That is to say, I grabbed my Bible and read page after page, looking for something to make me okay. (Some say that God is a crutch; that is slightly understated. He is my life support.)

I didn't take long before I was more than okay. I was feed-the-birds, take-a-walk, and sit-down-at-the-piano okay. I'm talking make-the-kids-a-smoothie and do their pots-and-pans okay. 

Among the things I read was John the Baptist.* His ministry assistants came running to him, breathless, and said, "You won't believe it! All that work we've put into this ministry and everybody's suddenly going after Jesus."

And John looks at them like, "Hello." 

Then I read about old Lucifer* and what he said before he took the big dive off the high jump. I can do that too. I want more followers than God has. 

You'd think he'd learned his lesson, but no sooner had he climbed out of the slime pit and wiped his whiskers, he started selling us the same bag of baloney. Promote yourself, 'cause nobody else will. Like a pathetic waif, he's been desperately trying to gain more followers ever since.

But good old John didn't listen and I'm not either. He must increase, but I must decrease.

So you know what? I spent a while promoting others that morning. Because so many of them can point to Jesus in a way that gets more people to Him than I can. And He is what it's all about. 

Jesus is what I'm all about.



*John 3:26, Isaiah 14:14




9 comments:

Adrian Waller said...

I can relate all too well. I have a sad tendency of cringing every time someone announces they've got a book off or are going to speak at such-and-such conference, or that they had record traffic during a given week. Ultimately, I need to remember that isn't what I'm about (and likely, not what a lot of these people are about either). Thanks for the reminder!

Carla Anne Coroy said...

I agree. I waffle between loving what I'm doing and hating it.

I read an agent's blog and this week the agent said something along the lines of... I take small, no-platform authors who are just starting out. I was okay with that and feeling like, Yeah! This one speaks my language.

And then I went back to read it again and saw that a 'no-platform author' means a minimum of 100,000 followers and speaks to tens of thousands a year instead of millions of followers and hundreds of thousands he speaks to.

And here's me... little 'ol me. If a no-platform author has 100, 000 blog followers... well then I'm a serious nobody!!

Good thing I don't need a platform. God has one. It's His book. His ministry. And He's the best agent anyhow!

But I so feel with you!!! :)

www.carlaanne.com

Michelle Murphree said...

I can't figure out a witty, clever, or remarkable way to word this, so, at the risk of being trite: thank you. Thank you so much for writing this. I get envious about the stupidest things. Then I get jealous of people who can shrug it off. Then I seek out people who will say, "But you're GREAT," which, of course, makes me resentful that I need that propping up. It can go round and round for days and days. Thanks for the reminder about who is important. You're great.

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Glad to know I'm not the only one who winces at the skill and followings other writers have :)

But--and this is true-confessions time--I feel that way when I read your stuff. Witty, wise, compelling. A style much different than my own. Who would ever read "me" after reading "you?" Okay. I said it. I mean it.

So, what now? I guess you have reminded me of a great truth, as Adrian pointed out so well. It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about Him and His Kingdom.

But, there is also an opportunity here for your encouragement. Your writing and ministry is like peas and carrots, caramel and fudge, salt and light. God is using you in profound ways. And that is enough because you are enough for God and God is enough for you.

Carry on. BTW, you could always get blue-colored contacts to cover up any momentary hints of green.

From Mary's Pen said...

My dear wonderful friend, you have uplifted me in so many ways this past year, and most of the time you don't even know.
God has placed you right where you need to be, and yes, I know exactly how you feel. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing someone less deserving (!!Wow talk about green eyes!!) "win" in an arena where we have not gotten our cookies... yet.

He knows the plans he has for us, and my friend, I know those are some big plans in your case. (hugs)

Much love
-Mary

Faith Bogdan said...

Tears and hugs all around... I love your line (Rebekah), "you are enough for God (he can use my two fish and five loaves) and God is enough for you." All of you! xoxo--F.

djm said...

All I can say is: Me too, me too! It is hard to admit that I do get terribly insecure & envious of even my dearest friends, sometimes! I curl up inside (or rage, or cry) b/c this one is a better artist than me, or why can't I have financial security & a pretty house like another? I blame myself for making different choices than they did, but at the same time I'm doing the best I know how to do. I get upset that "things worked out OK" for them, but not for me, not in the way I wish. That's hard to deal with. I pray for help with it, but it keeps coming back.

I try to remember a dream I had many years ago that encapsulates all this. I dreamed that I was in a tower with many levels. Each level had a room of glowing jewels, color, & light. I longed to be the best so that I could be at the top of the tower, where the greatest & best & most loved were. I knew w/ shame that I would NEVER be up there b/c I had all these horrid thoughts, and that I wasn't the best, anyway. And then...And then...to my tearful, amazed delight, I was given the greatest gift. I was lifted up to the top of the tower. I was given, given a soaring high note to sing, utterly not my own, not mine, but given to me out of love & forgiven for my horrid little selfish insecure thoughts. I WAS a part of that love & beauty & light, not b/c I deserved it, but b/c I had been GIVEN a clear note to sing. I opened my mouth & it poured out. That soothes me still. That's what I always really wanted. To be loved. To be a conduit.

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

I can't take credit for that line. It is the closing comment in Vince Antonucci's "I Became a Christian and all I got was this lousy T-shirt: Replacing souvenir religion with authentic spiritual passion." Now, talk about an interesting writer...Probably like nothing you have-or will-ever read.

Faith Bogdan said...

Rebekah, that sounds like a book I need to add to my ever-growing "to-read" list! Thanks! :)

DJM, isn't that all any of us want, to be loved? And the reason we get so green-eyed crazy is because we forget--or have never REAL-ized how well-loved we already are.

Thanks for you story, and I happen to know that you sing your high note very well!