I've played this hundreds of times. It's called the "Comparison Game" and I usually lose. It happened again a couple of days ago after reading an e-mail about ministry results. I started playing the game and burst into tears. I wallowed in the guilt and remorse gutter...and felt like I'd been given a swift kick in the pants--a hopeless kick.
Later that day the phone rang. It was a Brazilian I'd never met before calling from California to say how he'd been blessed by our first record, "The Carpenter". "I was twelve years old at the time," he said, "when a friend appeared at my house with the record." He was living in Sao Paulo then where his dad is a pastor. Although he wasn't familiar with any of our other records, he wanted to buy the whole lot. He was talkative and said he'd been born the same month and year that we'd stepped on Brazilian soil for the first time--34 years ago. "Do you come regularly to the United States," he asked next. When I told him we had just returned he sighed and said it would have been nice to have us visit his church and several other Brazilian churches in his area. I agreed. We ended our conversation with the hope that on our next visit to the USA we would be able to sing in California.
Hours later I put two and two together. Just maybe God had prompted that man to call to let me know that comparison is not a fair game and he, God--not me--is keeping score.