My feet hit the pavement in a slow, steady rhythm. I am not fast. I am not graceful. But I like how stress rolls off me along with the sweat from my forehead, the way my favorite songs match the beat of my heart, and the satisfaction of discovering I’m capable of more than I first thought.
The sky spreads blue above me, and I’m content. Then I see another runner with a smooth, speedy stride I can hardly fathom, and suddenly I feel like I’m not doing anything right. My peace and contentment vanish. Have you ever felt the same?
You love the home you have until you see someone else’s fancy renovation.
You’re happy with your marriage until you watch a romantic movie.
You think your personality is just fine until you read your friend’s witty posts on social media.
Your job brings you joy until someone else gets a raise and promotion.
We can so quickly shift from focusing on “the race marked out for us” to comparing ourselves with someone else (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). God invites us to fix our eyes not on those around us but on the Savior who has gone before us. If we’re focusing on a path besides our own, let’s make sure it’s the one that led to the cross. Because that changes everything.
Instead of what we don’t have, it reminds us of all we’ve received.
Instead of how we don’t measure up, it reminds us of the limitless grace that’s ours.
Instead of self-pity, it gives us a reason to lift our hands and hearts in praise.
The path to the cross enables us to “not grow weary and lose heart.” It helps us keep pursuing God’s best for us and protects us from distraction. It also reminds us that the journey we’re on is not about competition but completion. These days when I try to be like someone else, I go back to a phrase someone shared with me long ago: “Not my race, not my pace.”
As the fast runner passes me, I repeat this in my mind. Soon Ms. Speedy Feet is out of sight. I wonder where she’s going, then remember I’m headed home to where I belong—to the place where I’m loved as I am. Isn’t that what really matters?
I so easily forget this truth: When I choose someone else’s path, I also choose their destination. What God has for someone else may look good, but only His will for my life is truly best. I don’t want to miss out on what God has prepared for me—even if sometimes I’m a little slower and less graceful getting there.
God, thank You for the path You have prepared for me and the Savior who has gone before me. I choose not to compare and instead to focus on pursuing You. I will keep my peace. I will honor my pace. I will trust that what You have ahead for me is best. Amen.
Question for Reflection
When are you tempted to compare? What helps you fix your eyes on Jesus and stay focused on the path He has for you?
This post is an excerpt from my devotional, What Your Soul Needs for Stressful Times: 60 Powerful Truths to Protect Your Peace. If you want to live with more peace and less pressure, more calm and less chaos, more worship and less worry—What Your Soul Needs for Stressful Times is for you.
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Today on More Than Small Talk we welcome Counselor Mazi Robinson, creator of the Uncomplicating Love online course. In today’s episode, Mazi helps us understand why it’s so hard to receive love sometimes and how we can open up our hearts even when we’ve been hurt.