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Run your own race

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

As my boys raced across the pool, I watched as my little one's eyes continually darted to the side to check and see where his big brother was. "Keep looking forward", I yelled. "Focus on your own race and you'll go faster!"

As I spoke these words, a deeper metaphor reverberated through my mind. Isn't it amazing how God will teach us spiritual lessons during every day moments if our ears are tuned to hearing His voice?

Just as looking back and looking to the side slowed my little Eli down, when we compare our calling to someone else's, we lose focus and wander off the unique path God has etched out specifically for us.

I confess, all too often, I get distracted by focusing on someone else's path and not my own. When I take my eyes off of my own race, my own calling, it slows me down and thwarts God's purpose for my life. Discouragement and discontentment set in.

Sometimes I wonder why my calling doesn't look like {fill in the blank}'s. I experience feelings of failure when I look at the areas of that person's life that are flourishing, while those areas of my own life could use some serious work. Can you relate? Do you ever look at someone else's strengths and compare them to your weaknesses?

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Truth is, we can't be it all. We can't do it all. We weren't designed to. Rather, we were each created with individual talents and abilities that differ from those around us. We were marked out with a very specific role in God's Kingdom. And we will never fulfill that role and accomplish the purpose God has for us if we are too busy comparing ourselves to someone else.

Every calling is important. The mother who stays at home and faithfully raises her children in the ways of the Lord is just as vital in God's Kingdom as the woman in ministry who travels around the world to spread the word. The woman who serves in the church nursery on the weekends is just as significant as the man who preaches the sermons on Sundays.

We see this truth echoed in the Bible all the way back to the days of the early church. As the church grew, responsibilites grew, and help was needed with the daily distribution of food. The disciples met and chose men from among them, men of "good repute, full of the Spirit, and of wisdom." (Acts 6:3)

Spirit-filled, wise, and reputable men were chosen. These men weren't lesser than because they served tables. They were needed and necessary so the church could function properly. Each person then had to operate in their own calling so that God's plan could go forth, and the same holds true today.

When we focus on our own race and pay special attention to the gifts God has given us, we can step into our purpose and fulfill God's plan for our lives. Instead of wondering why someone else's grass is so green, when we water our own grass we can watch it blossom and grow exactly as God created it to.

Remember Friend, it's your life. Your path. Unique and special to you. Find your niche in God's Kingdom and fan the flame of the gifts God has given you so that you can bring Him glory and impact the world around you in a powerful way. Your part matters. Run your own race by fixing your eyes on Jesus, and not looking to the right or the left.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as He chose. 1 Corinthians 13:14-18

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