I’m giving up numbers for Lent, yes I am.
I am giving up numbers and all ranking systems for 40 days, when I shall, just like Moses, wander aimlessly through the desert, with no clue if I’m going the right way, so that I have to listen extra carefully to what God is telling me.
All the ratings in my life are starting to distract me from my mission: to try to promote peace and hope in this world as best I can. The measuring sticks surrounding me are essentially building a prison in which evaluation after evaluation tell me if I’m worth anything. My self-esteem goes up and down with the rankings for the day, so that I have no steady ground on which to write the stuff in my heart. I don’t want to know which topics bring more clicks, which issues the media like, which headlines to tweet.
All the good that you will do will come not from you but from the fact that you have allowed yourself, in the obedience of faith, to be used by God’s love. Think of this more and gradually you will be free from the need to prove yourself, and you can be more open to the power that will work through you without your knowing it. -Thomas Merton
Somewhere deep in our hearts we already know that success, fame, influence, power, and money do not give us the inner joy and peace we crave. Somewhere we can even sense a certain envy of those who have shed all false ambitions and found a deeper fulfillment in their relationship with God. Yes, somewhere we can even get a taste of that mysterious joy in the smile of those who have nothing to lose. –Henri Nouwen
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a website where God would give us our real ranking each day? Based on how well we were living truth and goodness and love? Where we could base our identify and approval ratings on the stuff that really matters?
My Lenten observation may be the hardest yet, especially given the combustible combination of my OCD and perfectionism.
But here’s hoping for some good results.
No figure needed.