Years ago when my husband and I ran a 10K race in Dallas, Texas where we lived at the time, we noticed at the starting line a man with a huge Blood Hound, named Earl. We felt sorry for Earl as he was so big, we thought he’d never be able to finish the race. About half way through the race, the man and Earl zipped on past us. The dog appeared to be merely trotting with his long legs. We looked at each other, “Did Earl just pass us?” We sped up our pace but never saw Earl again till we crossed the finish line and saw the dog and his man as if they’d just enjoyed a walk in the park. We had been beaten by a Hound dog.
Recently I ran a short 5K, with my daughter, close to my home. It was supported by many sponsors, one being Rita’s Italian ice. Sure enough, a person dressed like a Rita’s frozen ice in a big puffy cup stood ready at the starting line. When the race started, that puffy Rita’s Cup took off running and stayed far ahead of me the whole way. I wanted to catch that cup. I couldn’t let a big puffy ice cup beat me in this little short race! I pushed all out to catch that cup only to finish nearly 4 minutes behind it.
But what was I thinking? That race wasn’t between me and the man with the dog named Earl, nor me and that puffy Rita’s cup. They had their own races to run. I don’t know how much training they’d put into it, what else they had going on in their lives, how old they were nor where they were in life. All I know is that we both ran the same day.
I realized I do that with other callings in my life. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the comparison game. When another writer gets a contract and I’m still struggling to get any positive nibbles on my work. When others are blessed with a gazillion writing ideas and I’m blank. When others are asked to speak at conferences and I’m passed over. Did God forget about me? Was I not obedient in a writing assignment, so God fired me? Does he not feel that I’m worthy to write for him anymore? Am I finished? Is there something else I should be doing? And on and on.
Have you ever felt that? Did another person get a job promotion that you were hoping to get? Did all the other children seem to get awards in preschool, except yours? Do you always feel one step behind? Did your best friend buy the gorgeous house you’ve dreamed about your whole life and your stuck in your cracker box? Are other blogs, posts, or videos drawing more attention than yours?
Why is it so hard to be glad for these people? We should rejoice in other’s accomplishments because they are doing what they feel called to do. They have different talents than each of us and are using them to the best of their abilities. They have different races to run and there’s room for everyone.
Just because they are excelling, doesn’t mean that we can’t! Life is not a race against others, my friends. One person does not get the prize all the time at the expense of others. We must remember that we each have our own races to run and aren’t you thankful for that? Nobody can do exactly what you can do. Others need you to do what you can do. It may bless them in some way. God put you where you are, in your circumstances, with the people and situations to draw you closer to Him. He gave you your particular skill sets to be used to glorify Him, to lead others to Him, to let Him shine through you so others may see Him.
Jesus already proved us worthy of His love by dying for us. We are worthy of our calling because he called us. We are worthy to be used by Him because we were chosen by Him. We are worthy, my brothers and sisters. He has not forgotten us nor abandoned us. He loves us and wants us to trust Him to help us run our races to glorify Him. So let’s run our races and not compare even if it means getting beaten by a Hound dog and an Ice cup.
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