Seeing the above conclusions on paper (or the screen in this case), lets me see the spiral path I tumbled into the moment I started to compare myself to others and their 'performance'. However, it was God Himself who had to speak to me and tear down the lies that I was fabricating and believing; He had to reaffirm that my worth is what He says it is, not what I (or anyone else, for that matter) say it is.
Let me take you back to more festive days and cooler temps. Early on a December morning, I was walkgging (walk-jogging, well, mostly walking) a 5k race. There was excitement in the air. All sorts of people were around me: old, young, medium, with families, with friends, alone (like myself). There were strangers, including police officers, cheering us on. Such a nice feeling. Then came a point in the course where two paths diverged (and no, one did not go into the woods). Those who were completing the 10k were to go right and then turn left onto an overpass. Those who were on the 5k were to keep going straight and under the overpass. And that's when I entered eternity. No, I did not pass out or die, but I found myself in God's presence. Let me unpack this for you.
When I looked at the people going right to complete their 10k, something happened in me - only I did not perceive it until God spoke to me. I heard God say to me: You are not less than. When He said those words to me, I realized something was happening to and in me. I was feeling sad, very sad. I remember thinking I wanted to do the 10k; in fact, I really wanted to do the half-marathon. I had done half-marathons before and loved the feeling of completing the race. Yet there I was, doing a simple 5k as I was not at a fitness or psychological level to complete a 10k - let alone a half-marathon. When He spoke to me, I realized that I was feeling less than those who were now above me as they ran on the overpass. Then, He reminded me that the 5k, the 10k, the half-marathon, the kids marathon, and the marathon were all part of the same event, and all ended at the same place. Although there were several races taking place for the same event, all ended by crossing the same finish line. And that's when He brought the lesson home.
I was not built for a full marathon. I hadn't trained for it, so I was not physically or psychologically conditioned for it. If I had gone for the marathon, I would have injured myself. The same applied to the other races. Those completing the marathon were built for the marathon. I was built for the 5k. At the end of it all, we would all end up at the same finish line. Then He showed me how I need not fret for not running the spiritual marathon, because I was conditioned to run the 5k. It did not mean that I was less because I did not have all those fruits full marathoners had; it meant that He built me for the 5k. What if I was placed on the 5k race to help those that had fallen? Those that were broken? Those that were mourning? What if I am a sort of 'hospital' to help other runners get back on their feet and go back to their race, wherein they will bear abundant fruit? Why is running a spiritual 5k of less importance than a marathon? He showed me that He built all His children differently because He placed us all on different races, all of which would end at the same place: Heaven.
Then, as seamless as it began, I came out of eternity and back to the 5k I was running. After this encounter, it was clear that being in God's presence had changed me. I went under the overpass feeling less than those who were running above me; I came out of the overpass, on the other side, another person. I left behind me the person who felt less than, who didn't measure up to the standards set by fellow brothers and sisters; I was now a person who owned the responsibility of being built for the race in which I was placed by my Father.
So there you have it my friends, we are all running different races because we are ALL built differently; but we are running in the same event and will end at the same finish line. May we be obedient to His calling, His plans, His will.