It's hard to be in a race with someone...
Do you ever think about how many races we line up for in our lives?
Races that were never, ever ours to run.
Yet, there we are, opinions and all, ready to compete. Huffing, puffing. Adrenaline inundating our veins. Sneering. Envious. Boastful. Determined to get our way.
Standing, teeth gritting, at the starting line. Just waiting for the competition to begin.
Against the women we spend far too much time secretly following in social media. Against family members of opposing political parties. Against coworkers in competition for the same job promotion. Against close friends, under the spotlight of worldly fame, simply driven from the incessant tugs of jealousy and comparison.
Not our races.
Yet, we still show up.
And right now, the enemy has the entire world lined up for the same race. The race to earn a coveted earthly prize. The ability to say “Look at me! I’m right! We won!” All with a prideful, boastful smirk placed there by Satan himself.
The world is the devil's playground right now. And He’s invited the entirety of the world to wreak havoc.
Have you ever realized how nearly impossible it is to cheer one another on while running? Out of breath, chasing after our own worldly goals. Choking on our pride with every step forward.
To line up for a race that, an eternity from now, will not matter one bit.
But, the thing is, there always stands another choice. A choice that is up to us to make. The decision to step back and follow the one-and-only set of footprints that will lead us to eternal peace.
Yet, rest-assured, the world can’t all follow them at once amidst the chaos.
And that's exactly where our free-will comes into play.
Because, we have a choice. Every moment, of every day. We have a choice.
To place one foot in front of the other. Stride by stride with our King. Hand-in-hand with one another.
Walking toward a better tomorrow. On our way to an eternity in Paradise.
Because you can still smile behind a mask. You can still hold the door at the grocery store for someone across party lines. You can still pay for someone's coffee. You can still send a meaningful text. You can still gather together, peacefully. And you can still choose kindness. You can still show love. You can still heal with hope.
And within the moment we finally realize, it’s impossible to be in a race with someone else, when our finish line is not of this world...becomes the moment we realize just how much time we are wasting on those things that will not matter, an eternity from now.
It's truly baffling how we’ve made so much of this about ourselves. When one of His greatest wishes for each of us is to live humbly, as we strive with every breath to build up and love our neighbors, as He intended for each one of His children.
What an amazing sight to behold, if we could each only step away from the constant need to race with and compete against one another; and instead, take a hold of one another’s weary hands and walk together, stride by stride, in His name.
Day-by-day, I am slowly learning. To step back from the races that are not mine to run. And to stay in humble-stride of His footsteps. Grasping His firm, unconditional stronghold the entire way.
Because five minutes of "winning" on Earth? Will be nothing compared to winning a one-way ticket to an eternal paradise in Heaven above.
I don't know about you, but with every forward step I take with Him, I realize more-and-more each day just how much I don't need to fret about crowning, or declaring, anyone "anything" in this world.
Because I already have my King.
He has been. He is. And He always will be.
And nothing will ever change that.