I Am Resolved7:30 AM
"I don't recognize the number." She shuffled the phone into my hands. "You answer it."
Swallowing my milk and wondering why my sister thought the fresh-out-of-therapy phone-phobic would be the one to answer an unknown caller, I asked hello. ("Hello" is always a question on the phone. It's a polite way of asking, "Are you a telemarketer?")
I asked hello. And before I knew it I was being informed that Bailey Bergmann had won third place in state for a speech contest.
"Wow!" I gushed. "Awesome!"
I was crushed. Every contest I had entered I had always been applauded as the first place winner. I thought I owned this contest. I was already planning my schedule around the included trip to D.C. But there was no first place for me this time. Not even second. Third.
A little while before, upon being told I had won first in district, I asked God why I kept winning these contests. (In the giddiness of post-announcement I always try to be humble.) Surely I wasn't that smart. *wink* Surely I wasn't that awesome. *wink-wink*
But seriously, I was curious. And I determined that, logically, it must be God's will. There must be some purpose to it. And someday I would find out. (I really look forward to those mysteries being revealed. God is the author of amazing plot twists.) Right then and there, I promised Him I couldn't do it for my own glory - I had to do it for His.
Then here I was, masking disappointment from the apparently very excited man on the phone, deeply hurt that I had lost. Sure, I got third place and $500. But I was as beat as one could get in a contest.
Looking on the positive side, I beat out seven others in my state. But losing wasn't the problem with me. I was proud. I had wrapped up my success and a tiny bit of worth on my own skill. I measured my happiness by how wonderful everybody else thought me.
Since we're talking about New Year, I might as well tell you my new resolution - the new resolution besides the plans to tutor, camp counsel, start Bible study groups, write a novel in two months and preschool my baby siblings. I resolve to do things for God's glory, not my own. So when I lose a contest - when I win a contest - when I land that tutoring position - when I skip camp counseling in favor of traveling with my family - I count it all God's glory. Life's to short to live it for me. And it doesn't bring much lasting pleasure, anyway.
Oh, I will plan and dream and hope - don't get me wrong. But when my plans don't go my way, I resolve to remember that it is, nonetheless, God's way. And didn't I say He was an amazing author? Happily ever after must not be too far away.
Vive 2011! And sola Deo gloria.