Book Week: The Highlight Reel

Do you ever impress yourself with something you’ve written? For me, it comes when I’m looking back through scribbles in a notebook and suddenly, wow, did I actually have that thought? Who knew I could be profound? 

The exact second I have that pride-filled musing, I have to give myself a mental slap because it’s clear that God was just using me to get His words out. Which is a humbling thought all its own.

I’ve been going through this process all day. With the writing conference drawing ever closer, I’ve deemed the next seven days as “book week.” I have detailed plans to use every moment of these upcoming days to progress as far as possible with my manuscript, proposal, one-sheet, and the like. So, I’ve been going through all of the notes I’ve been scribbling for the past nine and a half months to make sure I don’t leave anything out.

Then I came across this gem:

“We live in a culture where we are constantly bragging about our ‘highlight reels’ and it’s the only thing we have access to with others through social media. We constantly feel like we’re lacking. This is a Godly feeling–not getting down on ourselves or wishing to be like someone else, but wanting to do something to make a difference, to have something worthy of a highlight reel. The Bible itself is a highlight reel. There isn’t a long list of the mundane–what people ate for breakfast, how people are feeling sad today, how they stayed in and binged on Netflix all weekend–but rather it gets right to the point and skips the rest. That’s how we are meant to live: with a point. We all need time to rest and recharge, but don’t let the majority of your life become the space between the stories. And they don’t need to be big, glorious things every time. Small things have the ability to make a huge difference. If you’re called to make a huge difference in small ways, embrace that! Live it and write your highlight reel!”

How beautiful is that? Aside from clearly being a first draft, there is so much truth here. Wanting to live a life worthy of a highlight reel is not a bad thing; the key is to realize what you’re highlighting. If your reel is all about how you accomplished great things and are successful, your life can become another roadblock of comparison the enemy will use to make those close to you stumble.

But what if that reel is nothing but grace, love, and compassion? What would it look like if we sought to have highlight reels worthy of the Bible?

Just like the Bible, not every second of our lives is worth mention, but we can’t let ourselves swing so far in the opposite direction that we don’t even try. We live in the confines of comparison, not letting ourselves try anything new for fear of not measuring up to those around us.

We need to realize that we are comparing ourselves to a lacking resource. It’s like putting on a chicken suit and crawling into the coop. You look ridiculous; you’re never going to lay an egg; and your abilities far exceed those around you. Stop trying to be something you’re not. But if you decide to stand out as the farmer, not only are you better suited for your role, but you can tap into the power of even bigger machinery around you that you’ve been equipped to use.

I realize the analogy is atypical, but I’d rather be the only farmer in a group of chickens when I have the capability to use a greater resource. Would anyone choose the chicken suit over the tractor? We laugh and say of course not, yet we constantly try to speak like so-and-so or parent like Mrs. Next-Door or dress like the popular girl.

We have a greater resource. We have the full power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Every miracle that Jesus does, He says those who have the Spirit will do even greater things. So what are we doing still sitting in the coop?!

We want a highlight reel worthy of our comparisons; what if we shifted that comparison from our friends’ Facebook pages to Jesus’s life. How could we change the world if we tried to really love like Jesus loved? If we compared our levels of compassion and tried to emulate His?

Go ahead, let your life be a highlight reel; but be intentional with what you highlight. Stick to your source: the only one we ever need to try to be like is Jesus. The only highlight reel to mirror is the Bible.

*******

Who are you comparing yourself to? What kinds of things do you keep in your highlight reel? What are some ways we can actively change our mindsets to emulate Jesus and the Bible instead of friends and Facebook?

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