It was years ago, probably around 2004 or 05, that I ventured in to The Republic of Georgia with a small team of worshipers bent on bringing praise in to the atmosphere of the people of Georgia's homes and cities. We literally had no other mission other than worshiping and loving on people. We landed early in the morning and were amazed by the small crowd that showed up to greet us as we got off the plane. The church we were partnered with had shown up in full force to welcome us to their home. It was amazing!
As we ventured in to the next day, we were sent out in to the city to visit the homes of many of the church members. This is where I learned a valuable lesson... When visiting a culture that welcomes guests with lots of food, take small bites. I think I probably gained about ten pounds that day. I pretty much felt like Jabba the Hutt with legs.
Near the end of our trip, after seeing some of the countries most historic and holy sites, including what most historians believe to be the burial ground of Mathias, we were invited to hold an open worship concert at Tbilisi's national museum. This was a great honor since this type of event was pretty much unheard of.
The concert kicked off amazingly well! We had a packed house! We did a handful of our favorite songs, and then started in to a small set of jazz standards. I was an aspiring jazz vocalist fresh out of high school, so this was an awesome opportunity to test my chops. After a few more tunes we had 2 student musicians ask if they could join us for an improv jam session. I was excited about this, at first... When the flute player started completely shredding an incredible solo, while playing piano at the same time, I pretty much decided that I would just go crawl in a hole and hide. These two guys, who just came out of nowhere, were AMAZING musicians. They hadn't even graduated high school yet!
Though I was enjoying our time, I began comparing my own abilities to theirs, slowly sinking deeper in to a state of self conscious, depression and ineffectiveness.
Comparing yourself to others can destroy you when you look through the lens of self consciousness. So don't do it! I know that's easier said than done, I still battle with this concept and probably always will to some extent. The difference is that now I recognize it when it happens. So I'm shining a light on it for YOU! Recognize it!!! God did not design you to be like that other guitar player, singer, or drummer on the stage. he didn't design you to speak or preach like that other pastor at the church that's bigger than yours. There are skills you can sharpen, sure, but you will never be exactly like another, so begin practicing rest. Rest in who God's created YOU to be.
I'm not the wisest dude on the planet, so I'm not going to give you a step by step instructional video on how to "be you". Talk to God, get some wise council if you need it, but just start reprogramming your mind and heart to recognize that YOU were created uniquely by your father. If you continue to live life by comparing your own gifts to others, you will only succeed in breaking yourself.