Everyday we are faced with a choice. “Do I keep my peace, and walk my own journey, or do I try to keep pace with all those around me”?
Making comparisons will tempt you to try and keep pace. Instead of focusing on running our own race, comparing ourselves will lead to us trying to run like someone else. I read a great quote recently. It said, “every moment you spend comparing yourself is a minute you spend subtly accusing God of short changing you.”
Whose race are you trying to run? Has comparing and looking too much at what others are doing in life caused you to feel like somehow you’ve been shortchanged by God, and He’s run out of the “blessings” for you? You’ve been busy singing “what about me, it isn’t fair, I’ve had enough and I want my share”.
I run as part of my exercise routine. It’s my time out, de-stresser, and the way I start my morning with the Lord. (He’s my running buddy) While running I quickly learnt some things about myself, and discovered some lessons I can apply to life along the way.
1. I need to run my own race. When I ran with others, who inevitably have longer legs than me I end up hurting myself. I have to run at my pace, with my length strides. If I try to keep up with others when I’m not fit enough, or not matched to them I start to feel deficient and even embarrassed at my ability or lack of.
But how often do we do that in everyday life? We are constantly tempted by the world around us; through social media, advertising and just being part of society, to compare ourselves and then try and live life how other people live it; looking how they look and moving like they move. When we try to be someone other than who we were created to be; when we try to do things the same as someone else does, without exploring if that is the right way God has planned for us, we run the risk of ending up singing “What about me, God have you forgotten about me?. The result is we begin to doubt God’s love, goodness and unique plan and purpose for our life. What’s worse we lose our peace and rest in life.
2. Don’t bother worrying about what others may or may not be thinking. I run alongside a very busy road. If I worried too much about what people driving past me might be thinking as I run past them I’d never get out the front door. Instead I’ve taken the attitude of hoping I inspire others if they happen to glance my way. “If she’s out running, maybe I can too”.
Too often we spend wasted time worrying about what others might be thinking about us. It’s unproductive and energy sapping and not what God wants for us. God thinks we are awesome and all of heaven is cheering us on. So go for it, and forget about what others might think.
3. When running stay focused on where you are going. Have a goal. It’s much easier to last the distance on a run and in life if you have a point of focus; a goal to reach, whether it be to reach the end of the block, or to fulfill a dream you’ve had in life.
There are so many distractions and opportunities for discouragement. It’s important to not look to the left, to the right or even behind, but firmly up ahead. Some wise words from the bible say it this way, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” (Proverbs 4:25)
Today, run your race at your own pace. Let peace fill your heart and mind. We all have a life to live, but let God be your coach and guide. He instructs us not to listen to the negative voices or the noise and pressures of the world. Follow Him and His way of doing things. “Let peace, not pace” be your motto and you’ll reach the finish line.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1)
Prayer: Lord I ask that you reveal to me where I compare myself and try to keep pace with others, instead of simply running my own race. Please let your peace and wisdom guide me. I choose not to play the comparison game any more, and trust you to bless and prosper all I do. In Jesus name. Amen