My church just finished a year-plus long study of the Gospel of John. Rich, rich stuff!
I have a particular fondness for the final chapter of this book in the Bible (and have blogged about it more than once). It is a favorite for lots of reasons. But here are the verses I wanted to share with you today:
Peter therefore seeing him [John, who was following Jesus and Peter] said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” (John 21:21-22)
The note I wrote in the margin on June 4, 2000 says:
Jesus was saying, “Don’t look at what I’m doing with someone else’s life. All that concerns you is what I’m doing with yours.” (i.e. keep your nose out of “John’s” business!)
I learned early on, while I was still writing for the general mass market, that there would always be someone getting higher advances, getting better reviews, climbing higher on the bestseller list, getting more publicity. It isn’t any different in the Christian market. All those things remain true.
An author has to work with her publisher to try to help her books reach more readers. I often have conversations with my agent and my editor on ways we can grow sales and reach readers who have never heard of Robin Lee Hatcher. This is just good business. And of course I look at marketing other authors have used and try to glean ideas that will work for me. But I have to remember not to compare myself or my books, not to say, “But Jesus, what about her?” Because if I do say that, I know His response: “What is it to you, Robin, what I’m doing with her books and in her life? You follow Me!”
So if you’ve been in a business — any business — for what feels like an eternity but you can never seem to quite get ahead while others zoom to the top, don’t compare yourself. If you’re a wife, a mother, a daughter, a student, a retiree, don’t compare where you are in life or what you have in life with others. Look forward. Look up. Follow Jesus. Let Him worry about everyone else.
I’m following You, Jesus, the very best I can. Help me to look at You and not over my shoulder at “John.” Amen.