I’ve recently taken up running again. My most recent run was Sunday morning. As I hit the road I felt a huge sense of elation as I reconnected with my running shoes, focusing on my cadence, breathing and arm movement. Then I turned into the neighbourhood and the only people on the streets were runners and there were a lot of them. And what did I start to do – compare myself to them. I instantly felt embarrassed by my non branded clearance priced top, muddy shoes and wobbly tummy. All the other runners had the latest professional high-vis, dri-fit gear. So, of course, in order to compensate for my lack in appearance I must run faster.
And as I run faster I’m eventually breathing so loud and sweating so hard I’m sure the next person I see is going to intervene and perform CPR. Thankfully that didn’t happen and I was completely grateful to God for making it all the way home without passing out.
Why, oh why, did I put myself through that? My competitive streak got the best of me again and I put myself through physical strain to win. But what did I win exactly?? Oh that’s right – nothing. I got no medal, no standing ovation, not even a pat on the back.
Instead of comparing and competing I should have focused on the reason I was running. I run for strength, stamina, health and a nice big dose of endorphins. Because lets face it ladies – with our hormones going from sky high to rock bottom we need a good natural healthy dose of happiness. I get mine from exercise – and no, a whole packet of custard creams is not a healthy dose of happiness.
Negative comparisons are rooted in insecurity, jealousy and envy and do nothing but distract us. When we lose sight of the finish line we can easily lose our focus and start looking around us. But when we get distracted we can easily be disqualified by stepping into someone else’s lane. God has given each of us a lane to run in and we must remain focused on him so we can get to where we need to go.
Remember that in a race everyone runs but only one wins the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24). Don’t lose sight of the prize that God has for you. Keep your focus on Jesus and he will show you the way to the finish line.
“…let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Hebrews 12: 1-2