My life. Seems it is ruled by numbers and has been for a very long time.
Numbers on the scale.
Numbers in the checkbook.
Numbers on my report cards.
Numbers on my jeans.
Numbers of followers.
Numbers on my watch, telling how fast I've run.
Numbers on the clock, telling me how little time I have left.
Numbers on my paycheck.
Numbers of comments.
Numbers of children.
Numbers on the mortgage statement.
Numbers of birthdays.
Numbers of kids who attended the Sunday school class.
I've used them to decide if I've done a good job, if I've shown restraint, if I've pushed myself, if I'm competent, if I'm an athlete, if I'm balanced, if I'm fruitful, if I'm...worthy.
There should have been a commandment: Thou shalt not live thy life by numbers.
I cannot live life by these figures anymore. Simply put, if I go by them, I will never fully measure up. I will never live up to my own expectations because there is always a number higher or a number lower. As long as I can push the envelope, as long as I can strive, as long as I can achieve more, place higher, go lower, I will. That is, if I continue to live by sums, paces, pounds, stats.
There is more to life than this. There is something so much better than measuring, than comparing, than achieving. All of those things make life about me.
Life is not about me.
So, maybe there is a commandment about this.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12: 1-2
The world is all about numbers. I cannot live by the numbers while trying to live a life of sacrifice. Numbers make me hungry, not for the spiritual fruits, but the poisoned ones. I don't think worship entails trying to be the best, to achieve the most, to sit on top of the world. Being pleasing to God often means taking the "other" path, the one that is not about my glory, but His.
I'm making a concerted effort to lay down these numbers, to stop playing the game, and to just live. Some numbers are harder to surrender than others, honestly. Even as I ponder which ones to consider, I get a little knot in my stomach. Tangibly, this is what I am going to do right now so to lessen my focus on the numbers and sharpen my focus on Him:
1. I'm banning myself from the "Stats" tab on Blogger. Because I write for Him. Because I don't need glory. Because the site-o-meter makes me think about me and I don't want to think about me so much.
2. When my daughter comes home from school and tells me that there is a pajama drive at school for the needy children, I will not tell her that I have to check the balance of the "Giving envelope" before we head to Target. I will tell her that we might have to sacrifice in some other areas but giving to people who have a real need is more important than us eating out at a restaurant, getting our car washed, or buying a new pair of shoes when clearly we have enough already.
3. I'm going to spend less time trying to micro-manage my time and allow God to direct my day. I'm going to be open to plan-changes instead of getting my panties in a wad. I'm going to have faith that if He needs me here, whatever is happening over there will be good until I can make it.
What numbers control you?