I know I shouldn't do it, but I continually gravitate towards comparative living. I define "comparative living" as reflecting on your life by putting up against someone else's. Basically, if there's anyone that I know that is from a similar background as me, and has taken a similar career path to that of my own, then I will critique where I am in comparison to them. I'm not convinced it's a healthy way to live life. It's a constant problem I struggle with.
I'll admit that I engaged in some comparative living this afternoon. Kelly was in the office so, on our day-off together, Kaelyn and I drove to Bright, Indiana to help out my sister-in-laws preschool. I did some songs for the kids on my guitar. There was about forty or so total kids for the sing-along.
SIDENOTE: working a crowd of kids at a Christian preschool is tough. They're really not the laughing type. Sure, I could have said the word "poop" which would have earned some laughs, but I didn't want to leave Mandi a mess to clean up after we left [I mean, from concerned parents because of my potty language. It's not like there would have been any actual feces involved].
As I drove back to the city, with Kaelyn knocked out in the backseat, I thought of other guys in ministry my age who have "arrived." I'm not quite sure I can quite relate to that process of arriving. Instead of speaking in front of thousands on a Sunday morning, or traveling across the country to do a book signing, I'm singing "Shake a Friends Hand" to a bunch of preschoolers.
Not exactly where I envisioned being after ten years of ministry. This is when I lust after what others have. Not their possessions, but their influence. I feel as if I could be doing more but am relegated to lower tasks, like playing songs for children.
But something that happened earlier in the afternoon helped me reevaluate my constant comparisons.
When I went to sing to the preschoolers, Kaelyn didn't like it. In fact, she hated the idea of sharing her daddy. She burst into tears, breaking into her hyperventalating cry. Eventually she had to be taken out of the room by Mandi. When I was finally finished with the songs, Kaelyn came back in. I picked her up and she nuzzled into my neck and immediately stopped sobbing. It was in this occurence that I had the epiphanal moment of my day:
This . . . kid . . . loves . . . me.
She doesn't give a rip what I do as long as it's with her. It's an unbelievable feelingâ€” something that brings a wave of contentment into my life, driving the jealousy and envy from my soul. I don't know who else has this feeling, but I imagine there are a lot of people who would covet it.
And that should be good enough for me.