Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper


Keep your eyes on your own paper.

The words tumbled around in my head as I tried to go to sleep.

Earlier, I had been grumbling to God about other writers.  Writers whose words seem to be not only meaningful, but also poetic in nature.  Writers whose words seem to give eloquent expressions to feelings in my heart.  Writers whose words seem to touch others in powerful ways.  Writers whose words seem better.

How come I can’t write like them?
Why can’t I be as gifted as them?
Why are my sentences so short and stubby?

That’s when I heard it.  Keep your eyes on your own paper.  My questioning stopped as I felt the weight of the statement.

My job is not to compare my gifts to others; it only leads to dissatisfaction and envy.  My focus should be on the gifts God has given me and how He leads me to use them; I don’t need to concern myself with how He’s leading others to use their gifts.  I only need to keep my eyes focused on my own paper.

While in my bed that night, the command seemed so logical, so sound, so easy.  I just need to be grateful for the gifts I’ve been given and listen for God’s direction.

But then came morning.  In the light of day, in the midst of life, it didn’t come so easily.  Gratitude was hard in the presence of other’s accomplishments and God’s voice seemed to be quickly overpowered by the voices and sounds of the world.

Keep your eyes on your own paper.

God reminds me again.  And again.  And again.  I’m so easily distracted.

But I’m learning.  I’m learning to thank Him daily for what He’s given me.  I’m learning to thank Him for where He’s leading me.  I’m learning to thank Him for the gifts of others and the blessing they are to me and the world.  I’m learning to trust God’s plan for me and not compare it to His plan for someone else.  I’m learning to keep my eyes on my own paper…





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