When I was in college I was required to run cross-country to get in shape for playing basketball. I am not a runner today and I was not a runner back then, but as part of conditioning, we were also asked to participate in one cross-country race, probably equivalent to a 5K today. The only good thing about the race was the donuts we got to eat before we ran.
I remember the race like it was yesterday. I knew I was in trouble when after the start, some of my competitors whizzed past me at hyper speed. I thought, I’d better pick up my pace if I want to catch those girls.
So I increased speed, ran as fast as I could, but also ran out of gas towards the end of the event. Yes, I fought the good fight, but finished the race, second to last. I was tuckered out after trying to run faster than God designed me to run.
Interestingly, I found out there were a whole bunch of girls who did not finish at all. I realized they were the ones flying at the start. I was told teams intentionally placed the jackrabbits in the race to set the pace too fast so they tire the field out. The ones who didn’t worry about them had much better results.
Of course! They were the ones I tried to be like, to catch up to, and they were the ones who caused me to run at a pace that was not comfortable, so I crawled across the finish line.
I wondered what would have happened if I’d run my own race? Not worried about what others were doing? If I just did the best I could, how would I have finished?
It’s the same in life. God calls us all to our own race, but so many times we glance to the left and the right to see what others are doing. We get jealous when someone achieves a higher level than us and we have a hard time being happy for them.
Why? Because we are not comfortable in our own skin. We want to wear someone else’s running shoes and we try to run faster than God designed us to run.
We are also not content with where God has us in our lives. We covet, and that’s a trust issue and a sin.
Paul mentions coveting quite a bit in his writings and uses it in Romans to explain the benefit of the law. “Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.”
God created each of us uniquely and has a specific plan for us. When we desire what someone else has, we’re coveting.
Instead, we need to be thankful for who we’ve been created to be. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”
God created a unique race for each of us and it is designed to give him glory but we don’t give him glory if we are not grateful for our own design and spend our time trying to be someone else.
I recently attended an event with many other authors and media people, most of whom had more books and a busier speaking schedule than me. I could have let it be a downer, but the Lord continues to remind me, he has me right where he wants me. I need to stay in my lane and celebrate the fact that the women I met are reaching so many people for Christ. If I can, I am happy to serve them.
Do you trust God with his plan for your life or are you trying to run someone else’s race? When we do that, it’s exhausting because we’re not letting God direct our path.
We all have different spiritual gifts. Author and speaker Vicki Courtney says your spiritual gift is “simply the intersection of your passions and the needs around you.”
However, I think we get into more trouble with envy when someone is similarly gifted. That’s when we really have to focus on our own race and applaud the person who God may have on a faster track then you.
It’s time to be secure in our callings, especially if they further the kingdom. We women have to let go of our insecurities and help each other. We need to trust God’s plan for our life. We need to fight the good fight and let the Lord direct us to the finish line at his discretion.
After all, whose race is it?
Categories: Archived Devotions