I scrolled through and saw it. Thumb stopped mid-air and I realized that I was – again – left out of something that I felt like I fit perfectly in. And my mind reels and my heart pounds and I tell myself that I’ll never catch up. I’ll never get ahead enough to be seen by those who matter. Matter for what, though? Matter to whom?
Lately, it seems, no matter how successful the business is. Or who recognizes what I’m doing, it’s not enough. I want more. I want to be seen more. I want to be invited more. And it’s super ugly. Like really, really messy stuff that the internet doesn’t need to read or know about me.
But, then maybe it does. Because the internet has had enough of people pretending. Walking around silently (yet very publicly) crowning some people worthy and others “un” in the spirit of authenticity.
When will I get it through my thick skull and envious sinful heart that we all have GOOD things planned for us from the Lord. Different things – but all proclaimed (by a God who does not lie) to be good.
So can I just start rejoicing when it’s time for someone else’s good thing to explode? Instead of being so worried that I am losing my grip on some fabricated, imaginary, and utterly useless leaderboard? Can I make a commitment to cheer from a genuine and real place? And then come behind and encourage deeply. And maybe even quietly? Behind the internet. Off the internet. In the places that will be UNSEEN.
Because I’m realizing that maybe the unseen places are really the gold mines. The true and honest and real places of good things. Quiet things. Deep things. Powerful things that don’t need to be sprawled across social media to be given value.
And if I do this, can I become meek? And mild? And somehow humble in the process of hiding? Not hiding out of fear of being found out, but out of deep security and knowledge of who I am to the inmost core – that I am intimately known to the One who really matters.
I love the end of December with the hope of the New Year on the horizon. With the anticipation of what the next year will bring and how we plan to play a part in making it happen. And I especially love the proclamation and naming of what the year will be. The popular-in-blog-land “word of the year”.
I didn’t pick a personal “word” for 2014. I did for the business, though. I felt that it was going to be our “make it or break it” year. The year that, if we got through with substantial profit, would mean that we were really going to make it. We started the year with a massive tax bill that I wasn’t prepared for, and I just had a feeling that we were either going to sink or learn to swim. And we swam. So we continue on. And this year, my phrase for Better Life Bags is: “Put your pants on”. Because it’s time to get serious and get studied and get professional.
But my personal word for 2015 couldn’t be more opposite. I want to be “unseen”.
I want to journal in places that aren’t published. I want to send individualized encouragement in sealed, private envelopes. I want to give generously without Instagraming about it. I want to take pictures with the intention of never showing them to people. I want to become emotionally rich internally in ways that only I and the people closest to me know. I want to dig my roots in deep and invest in physical people and community around me. I want to read my Bible without thinking about how I might share with the masses later.
I want to hide myself behind the person of Jesus. To take my place as His unworthy servant – just doing my duty. To rest in the strong comfort that He is pleased with me. To keep my head down.
Maybe it will be the moments that I don’t post and the revelations that I don’t blog about that will really matter in 2015. And I can stop watching other people’s good things happen and feel the pangs of envy. Because deep, immensely rich GOOD things are going on in my life, too. Good things that I finally am able to see because I have stopped caring how it appears or who notices. Good things that the Internet doesn’t need to know about to deem it “good”. Quiet things. Real things. Small things. Unseen things.