It’s an itch.

That desperate need to keep desperately checking email, twitter, Facebook.

And if there’s no new news, I can scratch myself raw with all the clicking over and looking and wondering why no one’s noticing.

It’s the itch that gets no real satisfaction through scratching.

Because if the inbox is full, my heart feels heavy and can dread wading through it. But if the inbox is empty the heart whines and a voice whispers, “no one cares today.”

It irritates me that I listen.

But there are things I can do to listen less. If I can stop scratching long enough to remember.

The loud boys help. They are so obviously oblivious to anything that might happen inside the world of my computer. They pull me out into the riot of leaves and laughter happening just outside the window. There we find mud and it is grand. Even when I am still finding it hours later on the carpet.

The baby girl curls her new nails, no less sharp for their age, into my cheeks and grins all gums and delight at me. She has my eyes. I don’t know where she got the dimples. They wink cheeky at me.

Between a twice toasted cinnamon raisin bagel and cup of hot chocolate I flip pages looking for wisdom. Instead I find laughter at myself and at the ridiculous rash of self that we have been duped into romanticizing:

“When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12.

How many blog hits I got this week compared to last, compared to last year. How many retweets? How many likes on Facebook. The itch can make you crazy. Comparing in a riot of wheels within hamster wheels how readership has grown or platforms teeter-tottered ever wider and higher.

Instead, best not forget how to laugh at yourself and enjoy the company and conversation of comments for what they really are – people with stories as thick and dog-eared as your own.

Turns out I have been foolish and forgotten what every mother knows – scratching will leave scars and the only way through the itch is to resist.

To resist and treat with the only balm that can soothe the restless quest for clicks:

He must become greater; I must become less.
~John 3:30

This. This I must follow.

{Top photo credit: Emily Freeman}
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