by Jennifer Dyer
A while back, I agreed to help a friend publicize a project. As I writer, I am aware of how much social media presence means in today’s world. Numbers are king. And I, my friends, am not big stuff.
The publisher of the project asked everyone interested in helping to fill out a survey.
The info they wanted? Numbers. How many hits does your website get? How many people “like” you? Do Wookies and Droids in the galaxy far, far away follow you?
As I read through the questions, a growing weight settled on my chest. Half of the things they asked I didn’t even know.
In my mind, the survey asked the question: “Are you good enough to help us?”
“No! I’m not good enough! Not by a long shot.” I started to believe I wasn’t good enough, so I shouldn’t try to help out my friend. Other, better people would help her. (How wrong is that? I was going to let fear and feelings of inadequacy stop me from helping someone!)
“I’m not good enough” clouded my thoughts, jaded my sight. Every time I tuned into any of my online channels, I despaired at what I saw. No one liked me. I wasn’t making an impact. I should just quit. And I should eat some worms.
All my creative efforts stalled. Instead of doing what I do best, I spent my time worrying about why more people didn’t like me. My doubts poisoned all my efforts.
I some time in prayer, mostly whining to God about why life wasn’t fair.
But God was gracious and didn’t toss me a piece of cheese to go with my whine. Instead I saw:
* Focusing on what others have is wrong and harmful to my own heart. That includes feeling envious of their success. It only leads to distress and distracts me.
* I had to face that I was trying to be in control. That leads to anxiety and doesn’t change anything. You’d think I would have learned this during my extended illnesses. Controlling most things in this world is as futile as controlling the wind with my bare hands.
* Do what I do best and let God take care of the rest. Does this mean I give up? No. It means that I focus on what I do best. I will dedicate a bit of time each day to learn how to navigate the social media world and making genuine connections with people, but I cannot control what other people do. I can only control the choices I make.
* I choose to relax, to write to share God’s love and grace with others, and to let the rest go.
* I don’t have to please the masses. I only need to please my Audience of One.
How about you? Have you ever tried to “control the wind?” How did you get through it?