This week I’m thrilled to have one of my Literati editing partners, Katie Meyer, appearing as a guest blogger. Also a member of North Texas Christian Writers, for the past several years Katie has won the high school fiction writing competition. Last year she moved up with all us old folks and placed second in the adult fiction competition. She also leads an edit group of younger teens. Welcome Katie!
True confessions from a wallflower—I always wanted to be a performer.
A dancer, an actor, a trapeze artist with the cure for cancer, I didn’t care. Anything would work, as long as it was show-stopping. And yet, the Salutatorian Syndrome kept catching up with me.
That tree in the kindergarten play? That was me. I did snag a silver medal once in a figure skating competition, but only with one other person in my division. Still, the award looked great next to my twelfth-place ribbon from the elementary spelling bee. All I remember from that royal catastrophe was misspelling the word ‘cereal’ and losing to the other kids involved. All eleven of them.
Sure, like everyone else, I won my share of kudos. I was good at plenty of things. But after sixteen years of green ribbons and honorable mention plaques, my winner’s-circle envy caught up with me and left me clutching a vendetta. I’m not much of a type-A person, but at that point my inner self resembled something akin to Gollum and his ring.
I didn’t pop out of the womb so I could keep winning second. No sir.
I had to be The Best.
That’s when God grabbed me by the ankles and dragged me out of my miserable toad hole. And after reading through a little bonk on the head called the book of Job, this is what I learned.
“He must become greater, I must become less” (John 3:30).
Honestly, that mantra’s as tough to digest as it is to swallow. But here’s the how-it-is of the day. The core of worship—“worth-ship”, according to ye olde West Saxons—is realizing worth. And let’s face it. Human beings are hardly equipped to be christened The Best. In fact, we’re built for the opposite, to be made less. My relationship with God works the best when I realize how drop-in-bucket insignificant I am by comparison to Him. Because that’s when I get blown away by what a big, screaming deal He makes of me.
While God’s intrinsic worth swallows mine without choking once, He still devotes the whole of Himself to humanity. The fact that He has any interest in a relationship with us at all is one big, bizarre twist in the universal “Order of Things”, and that meta-twist surpasses any validation I could ever hope to squeeze out of this earth. So when I take the element of God’s worth out of the equation, it’s no wonder I end up wandering beyond the fence on a hunt for mine.
By depending on someone else’s approval, I tell God that I don’t care what He thinks of me. I don’t care that He equipped me with fingernails to pop the tab on my orange soda, or that He gave me hot water in the shower this morning, or that He killed Himself just so we could talk face-to-face.
First place is a great thing, but I have to remember the importance of standing back and sizing myself up for what I truly am. When’s the last time I tried to tell God exactly what He’s worth, and then tried to fathom how much He thinks of me?
Though not without plenty of kicking and screaming, I’ve finally discovered that I’m the best me I can be when I’m losing myself in the middle of the King of the Universe. Real worship blasts me right past Blue Ribbon Fever and totally drowns my want to be wanted.
In doing what I’m built to do best—spend time with God—I rediscover both His worth and my own. Who knows? Maybe a few sessions of shrinking could save us all a few sessions with a shrink.