Last week, as we were out on a run, we passed by an older gentleman, shuffling along. He appeared to be pushing 80, and he wasn't moving very fast, but he was out there running. I want to be that guy when I get older! A few minutes later, two young women ran past us like we were standing still. They were keeping an impressive pace. Our conversation turned to how we measure our success.
For example, many of us have entered local races - 5K, 10K, half marathons, or full marathons, but I don't know anyone from our group who has ever won a race. If the measure of our success was winning, none of us would be considered successful. But for the older man, the measure of success was that he was still running at his age. It would be ridiculous for him to measure himself against someone younger. By the same token, we weren't failures because the younger women passed us up. Each of us should look to ourselves, rather than comparing to others to determine success.
The gospel of John records this exchange between Jesus and Peter. John 21:20-22 "Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
The response from Jesus is so applicable to us and it's the same message I find myself giving my kids. "Stop worrying about what others are doing, and focus on yourself." My success or failure isn't determined by comparing with someone else, but rather by doing my best to do what God has called me to do. The best way to be successful is to start by trying.
Join the Calvary Running Team this week for a run or walk this week - we're all about encouragement, not comparisons! On Wednesday we will meet at noon at the new Millrace extension. We will NOT meet on Saturday this week. And on Sunday we will meet at 5 pm at Clearwater trailhead.
I hope to see you out there.
Have a great week!