Life Is A Race

Life is a race. Not a competitive race. Everyone's life is just a different race.

Our race may change course, there may be obstacles we must overcome, but if we keep our eyes on the Lord, we will reach our finish line and receive our prize. It is not always about the finish line, though. The journey is just as important. We need to make sure we don't miss something along the way while keeping our eyes on the prize.

Because I am a Christian and an athlete, this analogy is easy for me to see. Why do I race? Not to win (otherwise I would have given up long ago), but because it is a personal challenge. I'm a woman wearing so many hats -- wife, mother, Sunday School teacher, school volunteer, soccer mom -- juggling life's joys and frustrations. Talk about personal challenges! I hope to use this blog as an outlet for my frustrations and a proclamation of my joys as I tackle all the challenges I face in life.

One of my favorite Bible verses that helps me get through the hard times and relates to racing is also imprinted on my Road ID:

But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giving up Control

Negative talk. It's what I do when I'm unsure of my abilities. It's what I do when I don't know what to say. It's what I do when I don't know what comes next because I'm such a planner. It's what I do when I doubt.

It's what I do when I lack faith.

I've always tried to be a positive person, but it doesn't always come easy. My mom has not always been the most positive person, and I've tried to be more positive, but she is my mother, so some of that negativity did rub off on me. I often catch myself complaining or just not thinking positively about something, and I'll try to turn it around, but I'm not always successful. I also try to be realistic.

I don't want to be disappointed.

Recently, as I shared in my last blog, I've been thinking about a career as a personal trainer and/or coach. I've been sorting through my options and just trying to decide what I'd enjoy most. Do I want to work in a gym? Do I want to do my own thing? Do I want to focus on running and triathlon? Do I want to help those just starting to exercise? Then there are those logistical questions. Who would want me to coach them? Where would I find my clients? Where would I hold sessions? How much money can I really make? When would I work? How much time will it take? What will it cost? This is where the negative talk comes in. I know I'd be good, but then I come up with some reason, some obstacle, that would make it hard for me to start my own personal training business. Who would be my competition? Can I compete with so and so? Why would someone choose me over her? I have overcome obstacles before, so why am I making this so hard for myself? Why do I keep waiting for someone to push me forward? Isn't that God telling me to do this? But....

The past couple weeks, I've encountered a big obstacle. Our school district is proposing that our neighborhood get re-zoned from our current elementary school to another one. Our current school is half a mile from our house. We can walk or ride our bikes. It is a very safe route. My girls currently ride their bikes alone to and from school everyday. The new school is 1.4 miles from our house and the route is much more dangerous with many more side streets and driveways. It doesn't make sense. Plus, I like our school. I know all the teachers and parents, and it just feels like home. I don't like change. Especially change I really have no control over and haven't gotten to plan for. In reality, I shouldn't worry because my girls are in 4th grade and won't be forced to move schools, which means my son will get to stay as well. I don't want the rest of the neighborhood to have to move, though. This is something that holds us together. I got involved and went to the input meeting, distributed fliers, and wrote letters and e-mails to the zoning committee and the Board of Trustees. I was feeling a little stressed out about the whole thing. One day, I decided to open my devotional book from a couple years ago to that particular day and read it. BAM! There it was:

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

That's when it hit me. I have prayed, but I haven't really had the faith to completely turn it over. I always have to have control. I finally gave over the Board's decision to God, and I felt more at peace. I'm still a bit uncomfortable, but I know it will all turn out o.k. Remarkably, I actually remembered the verse days later. I'm not great at memorizing verses, though. I started thinking more about it and how it applied in so many ways to my life. Why can't I let God be in control? Why can't I do that with my decision to start a new career? I keep thinking it is God's will for me to start my business, but then I think what if it isn't? Why can I not have faith that He will help me get through the obstacles and He will also pick me up if I fall?

Fear. Fear of failure. I don't want to be disappointed.

I realized how much harder it is to have faith when it involves something very close to me. If I can distance myself or if it is something I really have no control over, I have an easier time giving it over to God. When I can have control, though, it is so much harder. He never said I wouldn't have trouble. Why do I view so many obstacles as failure? How can I fail if I have God on my side, though? He has overcome the world. That means there is nothing He can't overcome. Whoa. I just need to allow Him to be in control. After all, it is just an illusion that I have control anyway.

Lord, take control and guide me in the way that I should go.


  1. Kelli-I so struggle with control things like this as well, and fear of failure, oh my goodness, I can so identify with that. He will guide you. One thing that helped me was a simple prayer, "Lord help me overcome my unbeleif." Mark 9:24 My unbeleif that He really does love me unconditionally, and that He really does have a plan for my life that is more than I could ask or imagine. Blessings to you! I looooove your blog!

  2. Awesome! It is harder to give it up when it's important or close to your heart! I struggle with this too. And I think you're also right that fear is a lot of what keeps us from giving it up over to Him. :)

    God bless!

  3. It is just an illusion, isn't it? I think this illusion is one of the tools our enemy uses to distract us from the things God wants us to be doing - in the moment and down the road.

    You are amazing. You are an encourager. You are talented, warm, and dedicated. God has given you all the gifts you need. If He is calling you to do this, you don't have to worry about competition. He has already gotten your client list ready. And even if it is one person, it is one person who will be changed.

  4. Kelli,
    I totally agree...if I can have some small kind of control over something, it is much more difficult to give it over to God. I still feel as if I am in charge.

  5. Thanks, everyone.
    Stephanie- Thanks for that verse. I had forgotten about that one.
    Jen- Thanks for the encouragement. I now have tears in my eyes.

  6. Amen. Amen. Amen. I love what you said about how it's hard to have faith and surrender the things that are so important to you - isn't that the truth?

    Love that John verse - we are guaranteed hardships. I am reading "Practicing the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence right now and he talks about how he prayed for hardship so he could test his faith. I'm not really in that category, but I do think that the trials are a teaching tool God uses to be sure we are "walking the talk."

    Peace to you during this season, Kelli!

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire