I was never much of a numbers person. Words are more my thing. Lots and lots of words, if you ask my husband! Numbers…not so much.
It’s one of the reasons I love to write. To be able to communicate using myriad combinations of a mere twenty-six letters is nothing short of amazing. Yet, my writing life is slowly being consumed by numbers.
Sales numbers and sales rankings. Blog readers and blog subscribers. Blog commenters and friends lists. Website views and page views.
I used to think the most difficult part of the publishing process was actually writing the book…until I wrote the book.
Then I thought the most difficult part of the publishing process was convincing a publisher that my book was exactly what they wanted. Not anymore.
I have now joined the assembly of authors who have learned that hard work doesn’t end with a book contract. The question now consuming my thoughts is whether people will purchase my book. Does anyone even know it’s available? So the impulse to follow the numbers trail begins.
How many page views did my website receive this week? How many Facebook friends “like” my Author Page? Can I fit my next Twitter posting into a 140-character tweet? How many people commented on my most recent blog post? Was it more than the week before? If not, why not?
Just when I begin to get overwhelmed by the numbers, I’m reminded that God is more concerned with people than with numbers. In Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, pastor and author Jim Cymbala notes, “The Bible does not say we should aim at numbers, but rather urges us faithfully to proclaim God’s message in the boldness of the Holy Spirit.”
Rather than fall prey to the lure of numbers, I must remember that God works one person at a time to build His kingdom. If the reason God prompted me to write this book is to benefit only one person, then it is a successful venture in His sight. If I’m doing what He has called me to do, then I must trust Him for the results…and for my affirmation.
Of course, I will do everything I can to market One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God. But ultimately, I must choose: is my focus on finite numbers or my infinite God?
How do you resist the lure of numbers to bring you affirmation?