Can I be honest for a minute?
The last few weeks, I have struggled to find my groove.
Maybe I’ve been struggling because my brain is trying to re-program after vacation. After spending time with family and friends and talking and sleeping in and generally not being at home in a familiar routine. Maybe I’ve been struggling because my spiritual walk is not what it should be. I have been challenged to find more time for reading and prayer in 2017. Maybe I am seeing, after making a list of goals, how far I fall short–how far I must go if I ever hope to reach the goals I penned in black ink on that lined notebook page.
But I think the main reason I have struggled is because I am trying to focus on my race.
Focus on your race? you ask. Yes, I reply. What are you talking about? you ask. I will tell you, I say.
I mean simply this: I want to focus on the race that God has set before me in 2017. Not your race. Not my sister’s race. Not my friend’s race. Mine.
While I was gone on Christmas vacation, my Pastor started a series of messages on the topic of “Running the Race.” I have been pondering this string of excellent messages from Hebrews 12:1-3. The verses are familiar, but as Pastor expounded on them I began to see them in a new light. Especially this part in verse 1:
. . .and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Pastor emphasized how we must run the race set before us. He stressed that each of us has a race, but we need to figure out what that race is and then pursue it with all of our strength.
One thought stuck out to me: my race is not someone else’s race. My race will not look like anyone else’s race. But that’s okay.
Not that I haven’t considered this before. Not that I am wondering what my race is. I instinctively know what is required of me. I think most people know what is required of them in their race. But this time, the idea has struck a deeper chord in me.
You see, I have often (and I do mean often) failed at not comparing myself to others. And in 2017, I find myself doing this once again.
As a single woman, I will admit that at times I have watched others running a different race, a race I thought I would be running right now. But it has not turned out the way I thought it would or should.
I see ladies running successful races with their husbands and children and single ladies running successful races with their businesses and careers. They seem to possess more talent than I could ever possess. They sprint toward their goal with what appears to be a sweatless brow and effortless grace.
And over here, I am sweating and puffing and huffing. How easily I believe that I need to run that race, the one she’s running over there. I focus intently on how I fail to measure up to her poise and stamina.
Lord, look here, I say. Every Instagram post shows a perfect life. She has a husband. She is expecting. Her hair is amazing. Her business is thriving. She’s. . .perfect.
And then the Lord gently stops me.
Run your own race, Jess, He says. I have set it before you.