With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio approaching, one of my favorite Olympic events I look forward to watching is the men and women’s track and field. Track and field actually covers a few elements but my favorite is the running events. The strength and the talent of the runners is unquestionable. But it takes more than talent to be successful in the Olympic running races. All runners have to follow one basic rule.
When runners start the race, their body is in perfect form and their feet are rested against the starting block. The moment the gun is fired, the runners take off. They can go as fast as they can but no matter what, they must always stay in their lane.
I believe a runner’s race is very much like our lives. We all start life with that first breath and then the journey begins. Every single one of us is born with gifts and talents. The true question we must ask ourselves is not just what are we doing with our gifts and talents, but are we proud of our gifts and talents? Are we satisfied with who we are in this lifetime? Are we running in our own lane or are we busy trying to be in someone else’s lane?
Somewhere along in life, we start to compare ourselves with everyone else. Maybe it started in high school when you wish you were the popular one. Maybe you were popular one but yet you still wanted to be someone else or look like someone else. Perhaps after college someone in your inner circle got the dream job you wish you had. I could generate pages of examples of how men and women compare themselves to others and wish they had what so and so had or wish they had a different life. At some point I am sure most of us wished we were in a different lane.
Check this out. The interesting fact about how a runner’s track is made, is that the lanes are precisely made with the same widths and formed with the same curvature. Runners in a race do not have an advantage of having a special lane. In the same way, our lanes called life are not any less important than someone else’s. Your race was designed by God for a special purpose and destiny that only you can run, therefore, stay in your lane. That is not it though.
You probably know this, but one of the types of Olympic races for runners is the relay race. In a relay race, there are 4 runners who run a certain amount of the track and then they have to pass their baton on to their teammate. Each teammate must run their portion of the lane. Relay races requires everyone to do their part, stay focused, and stay in their lane.
What happens in a regular race when a runner does not stay in their lane? They can get disqualified. What happens in a relay race when a runner does not stay in their lane? They can get the team disqualified. If you think about your life in the bigger picture, your life impacts the world around you more than you know. Your life right now even impacts the generations to come after you. Wow! That is a big thought but it is the truth.
If you do not stay in your lane who will run your lane? If you lose focus in the race and start comparing your lane to someone else’s lane, what good does that do? When runners start looking to the side of their lane too much, they can lose their footing, they can start veering off, and they can run into another runner. What ultimately may happen is that they can injure another runner and they can injure themselves.
Guess what? I am guilty of not staying in my lane. I have injured myself far too many times with comparing myself with someone else’s life. Many times I get too busy looking at everyone else’s lane that I lose my own footing in my own race! I put myself down that I am too slow in my race or too far behind in my race. Instead of looking at what lies within, which is purpose, and what lies ahead, which is destiny, I look around me and I become lost.
It is so vital to stay in your lane. I literally have to tell myself that daily sometimes. All it can take is a look on social media and I start veering off my lane saying “I wish I had her job or I wish I had her tall figure.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself and reach for your goals, but constantly comparing your life with someone else’s will make you fall behind in your own race. Get back in your lane. Even if you have to tell yourself out loud sometimes like I do, stay in your lane. Stay in your lane.
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Love, Naomi Noel