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, October 18, 2011

Purpose and Perspective and Giving It Up

So many things racing through my head right now. Not sure where to even start. This whole identity subject has come up several times in different ways throughout this past week after I wrote my last blog about it. So, I'm just going to throw my thoughts out there.

I think the question of identity is coming up because that is something I am struggling with. I need to know who I am before I can go forward with what I will become. So, I wrote my blog last week about what your identity is. Then, in Sunday School (our Rector's class), we were talking about money. It started with the story where the rich man essentially tells Jesus he has done everything right as far as following the commandments to get to heaven. Jesus tells him he must sell all of his possessions and that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to be accepted into the Kingdom of God. It makes you really think. You start to think, "Well, he was REALLY rich. That's not me." So, our priest asked us what our non-negotiables are. What are the things we would not give up. Lots of answers came up, and we discussed the true meaning of this story and how Jesus isn't asking us to give up everything and how money can be a good thing if used in the right way, but it also made us think. One man got up and said that we basically have to define our identity. If we gave everything up would we lose our identity? I think in this world, the answer is yes. I'm not just talking about tangible things like houses, and cars, and college educations. I'm talking about how we spend our time as well, like exercising, spending time with friends, going on vacations, knitting, volunteering, and all the other things that make up our livelihood.

So, I've been thinking about this identity crisis I'm having from different perspectives. What is my identity from God's perspective? What does God want me to be? I need to look at it from His perspective because that's really what I want to be. I want to please Him. So, I started by listing things I know about God. Then, I listed things I know about me. Last, I was going to list things God considers part of my identity or would like to be part of my identity. This part was the hard part. I'm able to list things, but fear keeps me from making some of those things part of my identity. I keep telling myself that I should tell people I am a coach, regardless if I have certification or not, but I feel like I have to have some sort of certification to really introduce myself that way. God doesn't care if I have certification, though. My mind gets in the way. Fear and doubt set in. Insecurity gets the best of me, so I don't consider that as part of my identity. Just like those "runners" who don't say they are runners. God doesn't expect perfection, but I tend to expect if of myself.

Don't get me wrong. I know this is what I should do. I also know that I would be good at it. I'm not insecure about being able to coach people. I've already done that successfully. I'm insecure about the unknowns like how to get clients, whether people will find me qualified, whether people will like me, whether I'll make money, whether my business will become what I picture it becoming, whether I'll have time without sacrificing family time too much, etc... Most of these things don't matter to God, though.

So, I'm struggling because I'm a stay at home mom. That is something I feel God called me to do. Now, all my kids are in school, so I'm feeling like my mom job is less than full time. I'm still doing that job, but I have more free time. I can do my runs during the week so that I can spend more time with my family on the weekends and after school. I struggled because of the college degree I got and am not using anymore. I often wonder what the purpose of that was, but I think I have a better idea now. I know I have the gift of teaching. That is a gift I have used in many ways through my life and continue to use to this day. Coaching would be another avenue of teaching that I can explore. I also plan our VBS program at our church. That is something I feel God called me to do as well. I'm just struggling with my purpose. I can think of lots of "purposes," but what is my SOLE purpose? Is there one?

I think I have to pray about this some more. God has told me to read the book of Joshua again. I'll let you know what comes of that. For now, I have to keep thinking about that rich man. Jesus asked him to give up everything. I feel rich at times, and I have to stop and think of what I can do to serve God. I think I can at least try to do what he's calling me to do, even if it is scary and unpredictable and might end in failure. I have some ideas about my business, so hopefully they will pan out. I have to get away from the money and just think about the people I will be serving through my coaching. I think that's what Jesus was really telling us through that rich man.

Think about your identity from God's perspective. What is He calling you to do? What are you willing to give up to accomplish God's identity for you?

This song sums up what I'm feeling lately. I have this song in my running playlist, and I love when it comes on during a long run. It is just a good reminder that God is always there, and we can do all things through Him.

Anything by Natalie Grant

I'm feeling undone,
Just a little lost in place,
A little insecure,
With this mountain in my face.
I am supposed to fly,
But I can't get my feet up off the ground,
I need You Lord to turn me around!

I may never be a star,
But I close my eyes and there You are!
You simply say to me that I can do,
I can do anything!
I may never walk the ocean blue,
But I know that I can talk to You!
I believe that with my trust in You,
I can do anything!

Not even past go,
And I'm already behind.
Now I've got to learn to see
Beyond what's in my mind!
Ready or not it's calling.
Now it's time to take a stand,
I can do anything when I'm holding your hand!


When I start to walk on my own,
Everything gets magnified,
And I don't feel qualified.
When I can't believe what I see,
I know that I can find you on my knees!
And you remind me


Linking up with Jen:


  1. Oh, just wait until you hear what God has been putting on my heart to teach in class next week: Separating our identity from our spiritual gifts!

  2. Yes, that's something I've been hearing and trying to figure out. Can't wait!

  3. This is so good for me because I feel like it's so easy for me to question what I know God has called me to do because I worry about money or this or that. I write and homeschool, and right now there is not money to be gained from either one of those things, but the call is still there even thought I get tempted away from it. Thanks for the inspiration to stay where I know I'm meant to even when I want to jump ahead sometimes :)