Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Proper Perspective

There should be some sort of alarm system when it comes to keeping perspective. But then, I guess there is. At least for me. For me, it's when I start to feel like an outsider looking in, living my life but not really in the moment. A little bit like watching myself as a character in a movie. It looks like me, talks like me, but doesn't really feel like me.

My descriptions are easy to relay here because I'm feeling this way right now. Once upon a time, not too long ago, I had a very clear list of priorities. Front and center on that list was my relationship with the Lord and that colored everything else with a nice shiny coat of plain old sense. And when everything makes sense, it's easy to keep a proper perspective.

There's no obsessing over things that don't matter, worrying about the future, or being afraid of failure. There's no sensitive feelings, holding on to bitterness, or worrying about my appearance. I'm tellin' you, there is absolutely nothing like letting the Lord interpret the world around us. It's a state of bliss, really. Not a state of perfection, but a state of bliss. Even the difficulties don't seem so bad, life doesn't seem overwhelming, people don't seem so frustrating. The Lord has a wonderful way of softening rough edges and reassuring us that everything will work out to the good.

When I finally obtained the title of published author, I warned myself to NOT fall into the trap of changing my focus. I knew all too well the joys of putting Christ first, and I'd also known very well the sadness of life without it. But I knew without hesitation that this new adventure would threaten my focus.

And it did. At first I really determined to let the Lord guide my steps when it came to promotion and publicity for my book. I asked Him to tell me what to do, where to go, who to speak to, and then I trusted Him to help me do it. But after a while, I got worried. What if it doesn't get out there enough? What if I don't measure up to my publisher's expectations? What if, what if, what if?

And suddenly the computer became an extension of my hands. We all know how many opportunities the internet holds, and I started searching through many of them, trying to figure out - without consulting the Lord, mind you - what might get my book noticed.

Now do I really think that's wrong, publicizing my work? No. But do I think it's wrong when I'm spending time on it that the Lord wanted me to spend doing other things? Yes! And is it wrong when that time spent mindlessly searching for new promotional outlets causes my relationship with the Lord to suffer? Most definitely!

So that's where I am now. I'm in realignment mode. It's time for me to get my priorities straight and remember that the Lord is in control. That every moment He blesses me with is meant for His glory, not my own. It's time for me to sit back, relax, and turn my gaze back on Him because when He does call me to do something I need to be ready. And I need to be listening.

After all, I don't think he'll be contacting me via Facebook!


Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

Excellent realignment of perspective, transparency and modeling of the Christian life. Nicely written. Nicely done.

Jennifer Valent said...

Thanks, Lori! Now keep me accountable!!

C.J. Darlington said...

Have you been reading my mail? LOL

Tamara said...

Great post, Jennifer! I admire your transparency. On the way home tonight I was thinking about the day when I would be able to call myself a published author so I can totally relate to this post. I lost perspective and I am not even published yet. Yikes!

Jennifer Valent said...

CJ - I've been where you are. I can definitely imagine us being on the same page! :)

Tamara - It's a crazy business, isn't it? But then life in general seems to be a huge struggle for keeping perspective! At least we're all in it together! :)