Lessons in Perseverance and Faith
I’m standing in a crowd of spectators as we wait for the first runner to come around the corner.
The anticipation starts to be palpable as everyone is waiting excitedly for their runner to show up.
Then, the lead runner rounds the corner, and the smattering of voices changes to yells and cheers.
For the most part, the words are encouraging – cheering each runner to finish strong.
As I wait for my own runner to show, one particular moment catches my eye.
Two runners from competing schools are coming down the final 100 meters and they are neck in neck. A coach is right there yelling, “Push!” over and over as the two boys run past. I’m not sure which of those boys he was yelling at but clearly, both of them were pushing and they were both giving everything they had in them.
The thought came to me right then. “They are both giving 100% but one of them will finish ahead of the other.”
Looking on, you would observe that one of them won – and one of them didn’t.
There are times in our lives when we are going to give our very best to something – a work or school project, a relationship, a personal health goal, a new enterprise – and we may fall short of what we had previously envisioned.
At times the things you’re aiming for may get grasped by another. Your timing feels slow while theirs seems to be quickening. Your daily no’s keep piling up while they just seem to keep racking up the yeses.
It can all be discouraging and you feel the anxiety rise. Whispered thoughts of failure and quitting start to dominate your thinking.
But just because we don’t finish first doesn’t mean we have failed. And just because the end results look different than what we had first envisioned doesn’t mean it’s any less successful.
As a Type A perfectionist, this is a concept I am learning slowly, and I have to keep coming back to Jesus to help me align my perspective. If you are of a similar personality, let me give you some encouragement.
a shift in perspective
Just because she is winning doesn’t mean you are losing.
Her success does not mean your failure.
It just means her timeline is different than yours.
Solomon wrote a bit about it in Ecclesiastes 3:11+14: He has made everything beautiful in its time… I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.
Walk your own road. The task you have been called to and the timeline you’ve been asked to walk is exactly where you are supposed to be. Instead, cheer your sister on. It may look like she’s reached the mountaintop but there are doubts lingering in her mind, too. She still needs that encouragement and cheering section.
Be the champion for other’s successes. Soon you’ll find a cheering section all your own. And take heart, because your mountain top is coming, too.
This month my book, Numbering Our Days, is being featured on Rebecca’s podcast as well as on her social media and newsletter! I marvel at my words being in the hands of others and feel honored that they are being shared in this way. Check out Rebecca’s podcast by clicking the button below!