Thursday, March 26, 2015

a tungsten medal...


Competing in things is not my spiritual gift.

If you know me, you know that I am not very competitive. There is no desire in me to see who can run the fastest, jump the highest, yell the loudest. I played soccer in high school, which I totally loved, and even then, losing and winning were pretty much level. We were just having fun, making friends, and all the other cliché non-sports mantras. The only time I have been truly competitive was this past summer at Summer Camp, in which I legitimately scared my girls (I wanted the t-shirt that said champion on the front, in hindsight I am slightly embarrassed, but it was all for the kids… right?).

But this week, I had a moment.
A MOMENT.

It’s funny how even the woman with no competitive bone in her body can perk right up for the fight when she feels threatened, when she suddenly realizes that there is a race, a competition, and she might not be in first place like she thought.

This week, I realized that someone was still in the race. I thought that I was the only one, that I had no one to compete against. And then it all changed…

"THEY’RE STILL RUNNING? I STILL HAVE TO COMPETE? 
I THOUGHT I WAS ALREADY WINNING!? WELL, GAME ON."

Jealousy can turn even the sweetest woman into a warrior. I realized that I was no longer the owner of a gold medal, I might have a silver medal, or a bronze medal, or even one made of freaking tungsten. And I sat there in this moment, fuming and frustrated, seconds from completely bawling my eyes out; I wanted to fight back, to sit there and tell God why it isn’t fair, why I am more deserving, why this would be a perfect thing for me… I wanted to sit there and justify why I should be first, why I am the greatest choice. And I wondered, WHAT COLOR IS MY MEDAL? Then the Lord pretty much gave me one of those Holy Spirit slaps and brought me back to reality...
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"Jealousy can turn even the sweetest woman into a warrior..."
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I was immediately reminded of the disciples and how they argued over who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. The story is told in multiple Gospels, and the disciples just did not get it! Amongst the intensity of the previous weeks and the events that were ahead, they were most concerned about who would be labeled awesome, about who would be number one (can we just imagine Peter or John holding a big foam finger with “#1” on it? HILARIOUS). They didn’t get it, and I can’t blame them, because I am right there with them.

Friends, when it comes to sports, take the medal, take the trophy, take the t-shirt; but in life, I WANT THE MEDAL, I WANT THE TROPHY, I WANT THE T-SHIRT. I want to finally win, to get the job, to get the man, to be victorious. People, this is a constant battle and I need to preach truth to myself DAILY, because if I don't, I give other people the proverbial elbow to the side, which is not very Proverbs 31-esque. 

We are not competing for jobs and relationships if we realize that we are all running an individual race that matters; each race is different. The Lord has a beginning, middle, and end for each of us, full and bursting with details and blessings and tragedies. When I look to the right or to the left, at the other runners, my mind deceives me into thinking I am in a race, that I need to beat these other people, that life is about impressing others, getting their attentions, and winning. Our sin interprets the race of life as a competition, not a corporate sanctification. Life is not about looking to the right or the left; it is about looking forward, at Christ, because in Him the race is already won.
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"Our sin interprets the race of life as a competition, not a corporate sanctification..."
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We must cheer each other on, not compete against each other. This is not a new, wild, revolutionary idea, but it is a hard one to grasp. If this person gets what I want, well, the most appropriate response is to praise God, because they are lovely and sweet and godly and an example; crazy how we forget that these women, or men, are in fact awesome people. Jealousy does that; it twists an amazing example of a person into someone who is out to ruin God’s plan for you.

People, there is no competition in the Kingdom. Let’s stop comparing and competing and looking to the right and left. Let’s look forward to the beginnings, middles, ends and all the details in between of our own races. He doesn’t have just simply a plan for your race, but a beautiful one; trust Him with the color of your medal.

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