When I began this journey, my goal was to “finish a marathon.” I didn’t have a goal to beat a certain race time or another racer. I just wanted to finish!
What happened along the way is just part of human nature. I joined Nike Plus and started comparing my average minutes/mile with others. In the half marathon race I ran during my training, I sprinted the last mile – all in an effort to BEAT a woman across the finish line. My focus shifted from trying to complete a goal to trying to WIN the race by beating the other racers. I ended up paying a high price for it. I inured myself in that half marathon as I tried to beat the woman across the finish line.
So, I had to come to my senses and get back to the actual reason I started the journey. I had to shift my focus from trying to WIN and comparing myself to others to simply FINISHING the race and accomplishing the goal.
“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” – Hebrews 12:1b
God has set a race before each of us. He equips each of us differently in order to accomplish different objectives. YOUR race may not be the same as MY race. YOUR gifts and talents may not be exactly the same as MY gifts and talents. God has called YOU to finish YOUR race – and ME to finish MY race. Why, then, do we fall into the COMPARISON TRAP?
In life, we tend to compare with others. “She’s skinnier than I am.” “He has more friends on Facebook than I do.” “They have more ministry opportunities than I have.” We start comparing how we are doing with how others are doing. We feel that we need to outperform other churches, other ministries, and other ministers. This is NOT what God called us to do.
It makes little sense. Think about it. If I am out for a run and someone passes me, I have a tendency to feel like I am a loser and need to speed up. In fact, I really don’t have all the facts about that other runner:
- Where they are in their run – they may be just starting mile 1 and I am at mile 12 (therefore they have more energy)
- Where they are in their training – I may be on week 1, and they are on week 22 (therefore they have more stamina)
- What they are training for – I may be training for a marathon, and they are training for a 1K sprint
- What else they have going on – they may be young and carefree while I have a family, job, and ministry that demands much of my time
All of those factors are completely unknown by me at the moment, so it would be totally silly for me to compare my speed against theirs at that particular moment. But, we do that – in running, and in life. It’s just as silly in either arena.
God has called you to be FAITHFUL to the calling He has put on your life. When you stand before Him, He will not ask you, “Why didn’t you have as many kids in your ministry as the church down the street?” He won’t ask you, “Why didn’t you write as many articles for magazines as that other Kids Pastor did?” He won’t say, “I am so proud of you for beating all the other churches in Missions giving last year.”
Your goal – and mine – should be to one day be able to stand before our Creator and hear Him say simply, “Well done, my good and FAITHFUL servant.” I want to hear my Lord say, “You did everything you could with everything I gave you. You did it for the right reasons. You didn’t get caught up in the comparison game.”
So, do that, Kidmin Leaders. Run YOUR race! Finish YOUR race! It’s the only one God called you and equipped you to run! Be FAITHFUL and make HIM proud!