Being a people-pleaser and someone who loves to encourage people, I recently found myself plagued with a reoccurring malady: overwhelming requests and not enough time. Add to that my penchant for needing to process life at a slower pace and think things through, I found myself in a race I couldn’t win.
As I was thinking about this a word picture came to mind.
I was down at the local high school track running in my lane, others in front of me, beside me, behind me. We were all running through life each looking ahead to the purpose we had inside of us.
Then I pictured myself changing lanes. Doing something that was not me. When I found myself trying to run in someone else’s lane, I created chaos on the track. We were tripping and running into each other in a ball of tangled humanity. I instantly lost my focus.
It became increasingly clear that every time I listened to someone’s voice telling me I should be doing this or that, I risked losing my place. We can be good people in a messed up world but if we try to be everything to everybody all the time, we lose the most important point in life -- knowing what we were created for.
Staying in my particular lane meant writing. I love to write, create things, encourage people. When I stepped outside my box because of fear, guilt, or jealousy, trying to do things that people thought I should be doing, I was knocking everyone else out of theirs. When I tried to be like them, I was stealing their purpose and trying to make it mine. Suddenly the word picture became clear in my mind.
I began to feel less pressure to perform and stay where God had placed me. I no longer feel like I have to be anything more than what I am. And I’ve learned to enjoy running at my pace, doing my work.
There are days we need to stop running, get off the track, smell the roses, take a long walk or check out our surroundings; let the wind lift our hair, take in a deep, full breath, and see other places and other people, before we get back on the track.
Some of us run a little slower, enjoying the views that others might miss. For others their calling may require them to be “eyes straight ahead.” That’s okay too. But for me, I want to notice when the wind is blowing through the fields bending the wheat, when the leaves on the trees are bursting with color, when someone falls by the wayside and needs a hand.
When I stay in my lane, I encourage others to do the same . . . to stay in the place they were born for. We don’t have to be everything to everyone. Just be ourselves and while we’re at it, become really good at what we do. Then we will achieve what we were born to do. Life can be a lot simpler. Just stay in your lane. I can’t think of a greater place to be, can you?
By : Patricia Strefling
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You can find her online. www.patriciastrefling.com