I recently signed a book deal with a major Christian publisher and since then I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance self-promotion with God promotion. And I’ve come to a conclusion: they can’t be balanced. The scales must always tip in favor of God promotion.
I haven’t blogged in about 6 weeks. I’d like to say I’ve been overly lazy and uninspired, but that simply wouldn’t be the truth. I’ve actually been on a bit of an electronic sabbatical lately, so my hiatus has been deliberate and calculated (why does that word sound so evil and conniving?). I’ve been doing some soul searching. I’ve felt pulled into a mode of self-promotion lately, and that’s something I’ve always been against.
13 years ago, I married my wife about 2 months before I graduated college, and as graduation neared, I refused to send out any resumes. I was raised in a home of deep faith, by a father of deep faith, and he taught me through example that God would always open the right door at the right moment. So, when graduation neared, I simply believed God would open the appropriate door at the appropriate moment. Some truly believed I was crazy. I don’t blame them.
But, lo and behold, Kristi and I moved to start our first ministry position the very day I graduated. God opened a door, and he really didn’t need my help. From that moment on, I’ve been convinced that God doesn’t need my help. He will always provide and will always open the right doors at the right moments. I simply try to stay out of the way.
But I’ve recently been signed to a book deal with a Christian publisher. And upon signing that book deal, I immediately began being sucked into the Christian retail machine. They requested that I start focusing on and building my “platform.” I dove deeper into “the Twitter” and began building a “following.” I started viewing Facebook as a marketing tool as well as a relational tool. In fact, that’s the whole reason I started this blog—the business thought it would also help my “platform.” Which is the most important word in Christian publishing right now.
But I’ve had this nagging voice in the back of my head for the past several months reminding me of my college graduation day. I didn’t have to promote myself then, and I continue to feel as if I don’t need to promote myself now. So, I took some time off to really pray and do some soul searching. I don’t want this to be about me, I want it to be about HIM. And now I’m back, hoping to do all I can with the resources at my disposal, not to bring people to me or my book, but ultimately hoping to reveal and show people GOD and HIS BOOK. His is way better than mine, anyway. I’ll still have some fun with it all, because that’s just who God’s made me to be, and I can’t help but tell people about my love for duck-billed platypuses from time-to-time. I mean, He is the one who created them so inexplicably cute. I’m sure He’s quite proud of his work in the duck-billed platypus.
God has opened this door for ministry, and I certainly want to walk through it. I just want to make sure that He walks through it before me. He always needs top billing. The spotlight is all His, and I hope to simply be the one who gets to plug it in, turn it on, and show the world His matchless grace, glory, and love. Shining a light on HIM would be the greatest accomplishment of any life.
So, Ladies and Gentleman, meet Jesus. He’s my everything. He’s my all in all. Without Him, I’d have nothing, be nothing, and do nothing. And without Him, there’d be no duck-billed platypuses.
The prayer of my life has always been: “Lord, please don’t let my imperfections which are so many ever stand in the way your perfection.”
So far, He’s continually answered that prayer.