"Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us ... " - Hebrews 12:1
This has always been one of my favorite Bible verses. I always thought the "run with endurance" part was the most important part of that verse, but I realized that that's not true. The most important part of that verse is "... has set before us."
Let me explain.
This would be a totally different verse if St. Paul had said "... has set before the world" or "... has set before all of us together." But he didn't. He said "has set before US." Meaning, if he was talking to you one-on-one he'd say "Run with endurance the race God has set before YOU."
And therein lies the lightbulb moment.
I mentioned yesterday that this life is not the life I thought I'd have at 30 if you'd have asked me 10 years ago. I'm not exactly sure what I thought 30 would look like, but it's a pretty safe bet I thought my life would look pretty similar to Amy's -- stay-at-home mom, three kids (two adopted), volunteers, does projects with her kids, gardens. But my life looks so far from that it couldn't be any farther. And sometimes that makes me very sad, and, like I said yesterday, there is grief associated with that. But then I realized that that life is Amy's race. And this life is Anna's. Amy is running the race that God set before her, and I need to run the race that God set before me. Even if I don't understand it. Even if Amy's race looks so lovely to me, I know it involves more big mountains than I could possibly be aware of, just like mine involves mountains too. And even if her life - or anyone's life - was perfect, it still is not the race God set before me.
I think one of the very hardest parts of life is running our own race and not comparing our lives to others. I will be the first person to admit I am so guilty of that. I read a quote recently that said if we put all our problems in a pile with everyone else's, we'd probably look at all of them and grab our own back.
Right now Anna's race is looking pretty tough. I've known for a while that this semester was going to be tough tough tough. Along with work and the dance studio, I am taking a Media Law and Ethics class that requires a lot (A LOT) of writing and - the big one - my comprehensive exam that determines if I'll get my Master's Degree or not is scheduled for April 26. My life right now involves going to work, going to dance, going to school, doing homework and studying. And that is pretty much it. And, as I'm sure you can imagine, the WORRY I have about this exam can be overwhelming.
But I keep reminding myself that this is the race God has set before me, and I'm called to run it with endurance. Not walk it with whining or shuffle it with complaining. Right?
This post is the second in a series on Turning 30. To see the first post, click here.