Taken with permission from Tim Neufeld’s blog on the day before the release of his new solo album, Trees.

Release day. It’s 3am and I’m awake… It’s not nerves, it’s not stress, it’s a 4-year-old with an ear ache that ended up crowding me out of my own bed.

So here I sit, having checked iTunes 3 times in 30 minutes for any kind of indication that people are buying the new music, paying attention, in short: LIKING ME.  And not just liking me, but liking me more than Chris Tomlin, or David Crowder, or Hillsong United.

If I could have permission to be completely honest? I wonder how much of what I do and create is actually more inspired by my need to be loved, and my not-so-subtle competitions, than by the desire to please and honour the one who I’m actually singing about?

Success in a Christian music career is just so terrifyingly measurable. Retail scans, radio spins, CCLI charts, booking inquires, Facebook likes, twitter followers – all numbers, that ultimately, at any moment, give you incredibly accurate access to your score.

Deep breathe.

What I need to keep reminding myself (almost daily) is that all of these numbers are ultimately useless to define any kind of real worth in those that pursue them.

And make no mistake, every aspiration has its numbers. The athlete has his stats, the model has her weight/age, and the stay at home mother has her Instagram feed. It’s keeping up with the Jones’ 2.0 – not just keeping up with the material things possessed by others, but also with the perception of who those other people are. Its no longer a contest of having more or being more than others, it’s a game of just simply being perceived (on all of our feeds) as having more, and being more than any others.

I’ve had to learn and re-learn the lesson of ignoring the numbers and pursuing Christ-security more times than I’d like to admit, and truthfully I know there will be much more to learning in the not-so-distant future.

But for now, on this first-solo-record release day, ill pray for myself the simple prayer that I pray almost every show over those that gather to worship God and “like” me:  ”Father, release the security of knowing that before anything else in this life we are sons and daughters of the almighty. Complete in Christ. Amen.

So easy to say, so hard to believe.

Here’s to release day!

—————————————————————————————————————————————-tim Tim Neufeld is lead singer and songwriter of Starfield.