Recently I’ve been wondering when it happened. When did I take my gift from God of being able to make a difference in the world and morph it into an overpowering need to find my worth in what I’m able to accomplish?
I used to think that when I had a book published I’d feel satisfied. Like I had reached a certain level where no matter what else happened I’d always be able to look back and point to a specific day and say, Yes, but I have a book published, my life is good. Instead with each book I’ve gotten published I’ve become more frantic to continue doing.
When my book came out on Monday I was excited. Thrilled. Satisfied with it. Thankfully I didn’t experience any of the anxiety as with my other two books. It didn’t make me feel like I’d achieved anything extra-special though. It was life. It’s what I do. Of course I had another book published because I’m an author. Authors write and publish books.
That’s when I realized that if I don’t find anything more than excitement and mild satisfaction at getting a book published now, then unless I change my mindset, I’ll never find anything more with my writing. It’s how I view life, not how life views me, that determines how I feel. It won’t matter if I have a New York Times Bestseller or hit a record with how many books I get published, I’m still going to feel antsy about making a difference in this world.
I really do think I’m going to make a difference in the world, but recently it hit me that maybe I’m not going to make that difference the way I thought I was. Or in my timing. Or even in my lifetime. Maybe I won’t ever be able to see it or know about it or reach out and touch it.
I’m going to make a difference because I am God’s child and my life is His to use. Making a difference in the world isn’t my responsibility. It’s not even in my hands. I’m not called to make a difference. I’m called to live my life according to His will and to give Him glory. And when a life is lived according to God’s will, then it will make a difference.
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)
Resting. Abiding. Being. Stillness.
It seems like every time I accomplish something I’m filled with a deluge of overwhelmed feelings as I think of all there is left that I still need to do. I subconsciously believe that it’s my responsibility to do something fantastically great that will change the world.
From the moment I wake up until the moment I settle in my bed for the night my brain is constantly running ahead, sorting, organizing, compiling and coming up with ways to fit everything in. Yes, I need to get dressed, do my hair and put away my sleeping bag. Those are givens. But, why not listen to audio while doing that? Snagging a page of a book while I’m walking downstairs gets in some reading. Reading Philippians while brushing my teeth? Two things checked off the list at once. Eating breakfast while working on a blog post. Composing work emails in my head while exercising. Planning out the rest of my day as I sit with our family for lunch.
Rushing. Looking ahead. Accomplishing. Doing.
All of these are good things. The problem comes when I reach the point where I no longer know how to find the “pause” button in my hurriedness. Where I sit down to pray and no matter how hard I try to be still my brain flies in a thousand different directions and I want to keep checking the clock because I can’t go over my allotted time period. When I’m feeling the burden of a million things I’ll never find time for and I’m aghast at how much of my life has already passed with so little to show for it. When I consistently give up needed sleep because there is still so much to do. When I find it difficult to enjoy time spent with people because I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything.