God Knows I'm Not that Humble
Last fall a fellow writer said she prayed God would not give her any more success than she could handle. She laughed and said, “Evidently I can’t handle much.”
I thought, what a humble person! To not ask for riches or fame, but to only ask for the amount of success that wouldn’t ruin her. I began to make that my prayer too.
Confession time: I’m not a very humble person. I want fame and success. I crave it with every fiber of my being. Would I like to speak to your group of 1,000 ladies? Yes, yes I’d love to. Would I like to win awards for marketing or business or my writing? Yes, to all. Would I like to be a best-selling author, with a movie deal and interviews on the Today Show? Puh-lease, oh, please make that happen.
The dangers of success, the way it can ruin a person, terrifies me, though. It rips families apart and lures honest people into dark places. As much as I crave the fame, if success forces me to surrender my family and turn into someone nasty I’ll pass.
This prayer appeared to be the solution.
After six months, let me say nothing is more boring than only the success I can handle.
God did not create me for what I could handle. He created me to direct praise back to Him. If I can handle everything, what praise am I offering to him? This prayer was conceited, not humble. God found me right where I always seem to end up, my arms loaded down yelling, “no, I’m fine, I’ve got this.” God wants more for me spiritually than an armload of dollar store bags.
So I changed my prayer. I sincerely prayed God would grant me as much success as He would manage through me. It was scary and freeing and exciting.
Changes began to happen almost immediately. My attitude and energy at work increased. Prospects who had previously blown me off reconnected and signed contracts. I’m not a prosperity gospel girl. I don’t believe we can claim it and God will make it happen. But when He blesses I believe in giving credit where it is due.
Success doesn’t always look the way we expect. Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
While my business grew, I received some tough-to-process edit suggests to my latest manuscript. My critique partner has torn the first three chapters apart almost line by line. I’m exhausted and disheartened thinking about it. Why? Because it feels a lot like work.
Part of me wants to say this manuscript is “good enough.” Another piece of me says, “but, girl, don’t you want it to be great?” You know what’s standing between my “good enough” manuscript and the great one? A lot of hard work. But maybe that hard work is what God is using to strengthen me for whatever He’s planning up ahead.