Ever notice how we feel envy at those just up a level from us, in our chosen field? So, for instance, I don’t feel jealous about Anne Graham Lotz’s publicity or multi-book contracts. She’s a planet away from where I think I could ever be as an author. But that new memoir doing the rounds by the woman living in Midwest of America? In unguarded moments I let myself wonder, could that have been me? Could I be the one living in the Midwest, the state in which I was born, close to my family of origin (taking part in family birthday celebrations and mother/sister shopping expeditions)? With my book jacket getting exposure and all those radio interviews and endorsements and reviews? With blogs and Facebook shares and retweets?
But that’s not my life, my lot. And an author in the Midwest could look at me and say, Wow. She gets to lead a retreat in sunny Spain. She has stacks of free review books. She meets amazing authors. She lives in LONDON, after all. How cool is that? Castles and cathedrals and a multicultural city and the land of Mr Darcy.
Why aren’t we content? Why do we compare? Why do we let what is healthy get covered in an insidious green slime? Why do we let envy eat away at what is God’s gift for us? I don’t want to let this deadly sin reign in my life. And deadly this sin is – when I exercise it, I become a smaller person. Less interested in others. Not grateful for the manifold gifts God bestows on me. Not walking with God in wonder, practicing his presence, with him ushering in the Kingdom.
And so I choose to bless that author in the Midwest. I pray she will make connections with her readers and that God will be glorified. That she will add to the discussion of life and faith and what is true and good and beautiful.
And I will count my blessings. My family, here and across the ocean. My circles of friends. The words I get to write. The trips I get to take. The books I get to review. A front tooth presented to me by CutiePyeGirl yesterday, complete with a sloppy kiss. The surprise affirmation the Vicar-with-whom-I-sleep just received. The glimpses of Oxford Street I took in yesterday after my author meeting – the lights and activity and man-sized Lego Santa. The unbidden, “I love you” from PyelotBoy.
And with King David, I sayLord, you’re my portion You’re my cup You make my lot secure. And Lord, those boundary lines? They’re in pleasant places. Thank you. I’m content. I’m grateful. I’m yours.
How bout you? What feelings are you letting reign today?