One of the books I’m reading advises writers not to check their Amazon ranking. Amazon tracks everything and offers tools to show monthly sales, weekly sales, ranking by book, and overall ranking as an author. The instructor has several best sellers and was recalling his dreary thoughts as his latest masterpiece plummeted in the rankings.
I was curious and checked my number. I am #96,678 in today’s ranking. Shawn and I shared a laugh. There is nowhere to go but up. Shawn’s glass is always half full and she offered her insights, “At least you’re in the list! I’m so proud of you!” And I got a big kiss out of the exchange. The person who is #96677 better watch out. I’m motivated.
Numbers. Our lives revolve around them. I applied for a social security number (SSN) when I opened my first bank account. Years later the SSN was printed on my driver’s license and my checks. The SSN served as my student ID and meal ticket in college. I had to show this card each time I entered the cafeteria. I redacted the SSN in the photo as it appears twice under the dark block shown. Today social security numbers are sought by identity thieves. I have to guard my number by shredding every document that might give it away.
I had a bank account number which I used for 24 year but it had to be changed. A billing operative in a hospital business office made his own checks using my bank information and went shopping. What a mess to clean up. The perpetrator kept the total purchases below the level which attracted law enforcement and absconded with the goods. The bank eventually returned my money and the merchants ate the loss. I can cash checks at the bank as long as Shawn is in the car and vouches for me. If I am alone I have to provide a photo ID. After the experience of having my account hijacked, I’m OK with that. The last check I cashed was for $0.42.
The US Census office provides population clocks for the USA and the world. The counts, as I began this post, are shown. That’s a lot of people.
The population totals fizzle when compared to the US National Debt. The debt total requires a few more digits.
We may feel insignificant as numbers swirl around us. There is another number which can help and the One keeping this count is never overwhelmed.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
Matthew 10:30 (NASB)
The context for the verse is anxiety and fear while doing the work to which God calls. Jesus made sure we understand the level of care and concern God has for each of us. Does the number of hairs on my head matter? Probably not but the fact that God cares enough to count them should encourage me. In His eyes I am not a number. I have a name and He knows it.
“…he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
John 10:3 (NASB)
“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
John 10:14-15 (NASB)