I pull my boys close and smell their skin. The leaves are turning outside and plum leather is cooking in the oven. I’ve got piles of spaghetti squash and zucchini on the counter, tomato soup simmering on the stove and Trent, stoking the fire.
I’ve got everything I want right here, under this roof, until I open up my laptop.
I’m utterly content until I enter the cyber world. A world that makes its millions through views and followers, a world dictated by numbers.
|via jadessong on instagram|
It’s a missionary’s space, this blogging world, yet it’s also a rat race.
And sometimes, when I’m reading people’s blogs, or scrolling down Facebook’s news feed, I’m scared of what I’ll find.
I know in my head that I am significant, not because of anything I have done, or written, but because of everything Jesus has done. It’s all him, always. Yet my heart still has to learn it, and it’s learning it slow.
My dad wrote me the morning after Christianity Today announced Jen Hatmaker’s upcoming reality TV show. He told me he believes one day, if I keep blogging, I can have my own show too, but to keep writing for the right reasons, he said.
I don’t want a reality TV show. I really don’t. I love our quiet life.
But still–it would be nice to be asked, I’m sure.
So, how do you write for the right reasons when the goal of publishing and marketing and blogging is to get noticed?
How do you write in humility, in reverence, in servant-hood, while still attracting the crowds and why is finding balance so hard, especially for women? Perhaps because we’re competitive and lonely, wanting both friendship and approval, trying to find our place in a sea of URLs?
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Are we so focused on finding followers that we’ve forgotten Whom to follow? Has humility become taboo? And if so, have we lost the heart of the gospel?
I was driving to town a few weeks ago, feeling especially low, wondering why I wrote and what did it matter when I couldn’t compete with the top-dogs. (Because there will always be someone who’s better or richer or who has more followers–we’ll never win.)
And then I saw a woman who’d been pulled over by the police. And even as I drove past her, I looked at her face and I knew, in that moment that I didn’t write to be the best. I wrote to encourage people like her who’ve had a hard day, who’ve gotten a ticket they can’t afford or whose husband has left them and whose kids are acting out, or who just don’t want to eat anymore.
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I don’t write to get views. I write to touch hearts and to change souls and I write because it’s a calling God has placed on my life, and to not do it, would be a sin. I write, because it’s right for me to. And that’s enough.
And yes, things we as Christians say will turn people away. In fact, the Bible tells us we are to expect persecution. We are to be different than the world. Jesus said we will be falsely accused. He said the world would hate us.
“Fame is over rated, Emily,” my agent once told me. “Don’t let human recognition be your motivation for your offerings. Your hands will always come away burned.”
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You, my friends, have been given a voice by the Word. He came to earth as a baby who was born in a smelly barn, and was lauded by shepherds–the least of these. He died naked on a cross. Sing to heaven with that voice, shout for all you are worth that Jesus is Lord, and glorify his name with every breath.
“The way lies through Gethsemane, through the city gate, outside the camp; the way lies alone, and the way lies until there is no trace of a footstep left, only the voice, ‘Follow me.'” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest)
Stones will be thrown. Followers will be lost.
But if Christ is exalted, your words, friends, will last for eternity.
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