I Got a 4… A 4!!!!!

Posted: July 30, 2020 in Speaking ministry, Thoughts on art ministry and life

So the other week I spoke at a wonderful Christian Writer’s Conference. It was the first time I had spoken outside of my church all year because of COVID. I felt a little rusty but I was prepared and it didn’t take long to hit my stride. I ran a little longer than I planned, which I attribute to the rustiness, but I got a lot of great comments when it was over. It went well over all.

The other day I got an email that held all of my evaluations. Overall they were good. Four tens, three nines, two or three eights (one commenting I went a little long, guilty!) two sevens which hurt a little, but someone gave me a 4… A 4!!!!! How did I get a 4? I mean come on, a four says things like “You’re worthless” “You stink” or “That was 45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.” My first thought was, “You’ll never be invited back!” followed by “Should I go back, if I am invited.” Of course I would go back, I love this conference and it has blessed me tremendously, but a four hurt. That’s not even average.

Then I started to wonder about who would rank me that low. I mean this was in a place filled with creative people. I tailored the message to the audience. I tried to overflow with encouragement. I’ve been looking for what my next long form presentation would be, and after that presentation I thought this would be the one that I would expand, I was even considering making it my next book, and then I got the four. Who would give me a four?

Why am I writing this? I hope you’re seeing it because this is an affliction that afflicts many creative people. I got a lot of great comments and some really good numbers. I got four tens, but that was all eclipsed by a four. Understand that’s a choice. We get to choose where we focus. Some of the mid-range numbers should make me want to shift and adjust, but if I take one four over four tens, maybe I deserve to hurt. I don’t know what was going on with the person who gave me the four. The conference director was very kind, constructive and helpful,
many people were constructive and appreciative.

Do yourself a favor. Check yourself on the fours, but don’t ignore the tens. Focus on the positive, keep improving and stay encouraged. Oh and one other thing. When it’s your turn to be an evaluator, be honest, but be kind. Some day the show will be on the other foot. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t a four!

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