Analytics Is a Siren

I subscribe to Google Analytics.

That means that I know everything about You, the Readers of this blog:  Where you live, what you read, whether you’ve been here before or you’re a first-time visitor, how many minutes you hover reading “Seasons of Grace” in the morning….

And I’ve come to regard my fascination with statistics as sinful.

It’s gratifying to know that more people around the world know about what’s going on in this blogspace than knew, say, a year ago.  Insatiable, my ego clamors for more, more, MORE readers….

But with a platform (and yes, Patheos provides a highly visible platform for a budding blogger) comes a responsibility.  As a Catholic writer, my task should be not to make you like ME, but to make you fall in love with JESUS.  And on that score, sometimes I succeed—and too often, I fall far short.  Sometimes I give in to the temptress, letting my ego govern my fingers on the keys, turning again just to check:  Is there one more person out there who relies on me to help make sense of this ersatz world?  And an hour later—what then?

I’m evocative of the effusive Sally Fields, exclaiming tearfully at the 62nd Academy Awards:  “You like me!  You really like me!!”

Steve Jobs was a good man who never found his way to the Christian faith.  He was not afraid, though, to ponder the meaning of life.  “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon,” Jobs said, “is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.  Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”

In every day there are only so many hours, divided into so many minutes.  Life is a string of finite experiences, and Lordy, at my age I need to pack in more of the real stuff.  One way I can do that is to ignore the unreal stuff, like readership pie charts and compliments in the combox, and focus on Christ.

I’m telling you this because maybe you, too, struggle with swollen ego.  Join me today in Egos Anonymous, laying our sin before the Cross.

Jesus, I trust in You.

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