Friday, December 20, 2013

Stop Counting




I have a really really bad habit of counting.

I count the number of people who read my blog.  I count the number of people in an audience when I speak.  I count compliments.  I count criticism.  I count just about everything.  

The truly ironic thing is I don't like counting.  An accountant I will NEVER be (I know you're not supposed to say never but really, I will NEVER BE AN ACCOUNTANT!)  

And yet I count.

Every day.

Silly things. 

Things that I know really don't matter.

Is my worth as a Christian, as a child of God, reflected in the number of people I reach?  Of course NOT!!!  I KNOW THIS!  I do.  But still I count.

It struck me this week, how little God cares about numbers.  I sat on the floor in my living room during quite time one day and just stared at the beautiful nativity my mom hand painted for me (I know she is very skilled!).   And then  it hit me.  Numbers really don't matter.  

We don't know exactly how many people were there by the manger the night Christ was born.  There was Mary, and Joseph of course, an unknown number of shepherds (my nativity has four) and angels (only one in my set).  And some wise men, although Bible never really says how many Christmas hymns have somehow assigned the number three.  But really, the wise men didn't come until years later.  So the night of his birth, the night our savior came to Earth, the one night that you think God would have called a huge audience, he didn't.  Why not?

Because God has never been concerned with numbers.  Just with our heart.

A few years ago I had the great privilege of hearing Pasty Claimont Speak at a Women of Faith conference (incidentally, she was speaking to thousands- but that's not my point!).  She is a  woman of God who for years battled debilitating depression and suffered from agoraphobia, not leaving her house for years.  Once she found Christ and started the process of healing she was so excited to do big things.  I have this quote from her written in my journal, " I told God I would do anything for him and he told me to make the bed!  I wanted to do something big and he wanted me to make the bed!"  

Some days I feel like that.  I want to do so much, impact so many, shout from the roof tops, but God doesn't care about that.  He cares about my heart.  About whether I am managing what he has already given my well.  And too often I don't.  My bed, right now is not made (good thing he was telling Patsy that and not me!) My kids are watching TV rather than having me play with them.  There are still gifts  to be wrapped, cookies to be baked and clothes to be packed, and a house that desperately needs to be cleaned and we leave in 5 hours!  Clearly something is not going to get done.  

I think somewhere along the way I may have missed or changed my point, but I think this is what I am trying to say.  God doesn't care what the numbers are.  He has never once, NOT ONCE, compared you to anyone else.  He doesn't need you to stand in front of an audience, write a best seller, or change the state of the world.  But he does want a transformed heart in you.  He wants you to do well the tasks he has given you to do, even the teeny tiny ones.  

So if you are like me, stop.  

Stop counting.

And just do.

Do it not for the audience, but out of love for the one who sent his Son as a little baby, that HE, not you, HE might change the state of the world.