I'm Sick Of The Popularity Contest

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As a weary traveler on a dusty road, I say, enough already. I'm ready to put on my sandals and to go wander into the mountains to pray. Away from the crowds. Away from the noises.

Away from the push to be popular.



I've had enough. The push never ends. The drive never stops. And from what I can tell the suck is insatiable. Like a whirlpool of driving current, it spirals downward, endlessly feeding on a hunger that can never be quelled. Well, I say enough already.

I will never do enough, be enough, or have enough to push this way forever. I can write, I can sing and I can do what I do without worrying whether endless millions are hanging on my every word.

And trust me, they're not. But I just can't do this anymore.

It feels like squeezing water out of a turnip that's been left in the sun for a month of Sundays. And my soul is empty. My thoughts are dry. The implication that the wellspring of life inside of me is worth only what it can do for my numbers is nonsense.

Absolute nonsense.

Only 8 people climbed onto the ark and only 3 people made it out of Sodom. So, it's not always about the numbers. And if you are popular, congratulations to you. I tip my hat. But needing people to like and share and comment, and re-tweet and make me someone whose words and thoughts matter is a lifesuck.

Certain webstats mean you are a success and others not so much. And if I know I am not a success, then what am I willing to do to be successful? The temptation to water down the gospel is strong with me as is the desire to manipulate and say what I think people are wanting to hear. 

But what is God telling me to say?

And what is the end goal?

What did Jesus do? What does Jesus do? 

He puts out what is valuable and He offers it for people to accept and be saved. Oftentimes he spoke to many, but sometimes He spoke to a few. Often he spoke to just one. If they did not accept Him or His words, He didn't employ tricks to get His numbers up. He even sent some people away. He didn't try a slick sales pitch while wearing a plastic grin in a cheap business suit to try to make Jesus Inc. successful. He didn't skip over the hard parts. He didn't gloss over self-sacrifice and suffering. 

Jesus never was caught up in the push to be popular. Jesus never was trying to sell anything. I have gone out on stage to sing a song and have found myself choosing the one that I think people will like over the one I think people need to hear. I know what it's like to choose what I do based on the reaction of the crowd rather than to be true to my calling.

I don't want to be your entertainer. 

I've wondered whether people would show up to hear me sing unless I do exactly what they want.

I've wondered whether they would want to be challenged?


Instructed by scripture?

I want to be sincere. And to tell you what you do not want to hear. To tell you what you need to hear. Because I love you. 

To do otherwise makes me feel so desperate. It makes me feel cheap inside and needy. It's like I'm continually raising funds to go on a trip somewhere. Except I never end up going. I just continually need to be fed an endless amount of public support. But I should be supporting and serving them. Uplifting them. And encouraging them.

I should be feeding His sheep, tending to the wounded and visiting the sick.

And if I do get the numbers there is the threat to my soul if I get caught up in it all. And if I don't get the numbers, there is the sting of rejection. Oh the rejection.

And so, for once, can this just be about the message? And not the visit count, likes or transactions made after the fact? Can it be about Jesus?

And if it goes somewhere great, and if it's one soul that it touched, spectacular? Can it just be real? Really real? For real?


I need a break from the emptiness which comprises the popularity contest. Because I perceive that even in a crowd, a crowd of raving fans, that it is entirely possibly to feel so utterly and desperately alone. 

For writings not found on the blog, visit: www.facebook.com/rosahopkinswriting

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