Long distance runners race for a variety of reasons. Speed and time to the finish line are not their only measures. Many will never match a world-class pace, but all have their own uniquely wonderful course to complete. Dick Hoyt is just such a runner. When his teenage son, Rick, came to him and expressed his desire to participate in a 5k fund-raiser for a local boy who had been paralyzed, Dick said “Okay”. They ran their first race together and Rick loved it. (Dick says he was just glad he survived it.) Then Rick asked if they could do another race, a marathon. The marathon took more training, but together, they did it. Eventually, they entered the Iron Man Triathlon, one of the most grueling swim/bike/run events on the planet. And together, Dick and Rick finished that one too. Their times were not record setting or even competitive, but everyone was amazed at this father and son running team. You see, Rick was born with cerebral palsy and is a spastic quadriplegic Since 1977, when Rick was fifteen years old, Dick has invented ways to swim, bike and run with his son in tow for over thirty-seven years.
Everyone’s race is different and has its own distinctive value. There is no standard in the Kingdom that measures our achievements in quantifiable statistics. The value of our lives will never be in how many books we’ve read (or written), the years we spent in school, the number of hours that we prayed or how fast we read our Bibles. The standards for success that tend to impress human beings are rarely ones that God shares.
Comparison thinking is a thief, assigned to rob us of the joy
of the journey. Focus on God’s delight in the exceptional
champion He created you to be, running the unique course
He has crafted just for you.
The joy of the journey explodes in us when we surrender the lies that are designed to steal it. Imagine getting rid of the weight of these ridiculous comparisons that God isn’t making:
“Everyone else seems to be getting it faster than me.”
“My friend just had a great breakthrough. Why hasn’t mine come?”
“If I had the advantages in life that he’s had, I would be able to do that too.”
“How will I ever be able to catch to her? She has so much more experience
These are imaginations that Joyfully Intentional people learn to throw down, lock up, and walk over (2 Corinthians 10:5). They think about their thinking and ask: “Who wins with this mindset?”
Look again at the thoughts listed above. Would any of them bring you peace that passes understanding or joy unspeakable and full of glory? Do they sound gentle or kind? People often ask me, “How do I know if it’s God or not?” God’s voice and His thoughts are filled with the Fruit of the Spirit. They will be patient, kind, merciful, gracious, good, and loving—leaving you with peace and joy. But the fruit of comparison is shame, guilt and insignificance. Comparison doesn’t encourage us. It disheartens us in order to keep us from continuing in our race. Satan’s only real hope of defeating you is to find ways to get you to compare yourself to others and come up short.
God is the author of “en-courage-ment” on your journey.
Satan is the author of “dis-courage-ment.”
All of us will run our race with “courage,”
but which type of “courage” will we choose?
–An excerpt from Joyful Intentionality by Allison Bown
Joyful Intentionality by Allison Bown was first released as a book in 2015, but Allison has now adapted it into a 4-disc CD series as well! This CD series is brand new at Brilliant Book House and covers key aspects of a passion-filled life on purpose! Check out Joyful Intentionality today.