We had dinner with my parents last night. Mom is in the middle of the massive project of getting all her decades of photos scanned into digital files. It’s a huge undertaking, that we’re all sure to be so grateful for down the road. She has loose pictures and boxed pictures spread all across the dining room table. I sat there looking for just a few minutes and it was like a stroll down memory lane. Those images are prints of my childhood.
They’re all stories locked away in my mind.
This was one of my favorites because it represents so many stories. Our family was really into go-karts. And I was really into winning. Every time we’d go to see grandma, we’d hit the tracks. We’d race and race and race until our faces, hair and clothing were all covered in those tiny pieces of black tar off the pavement. We’d laugh and make faces at each other on every turn.
The winner always got “bragging rights”, until the next race.
I fought hard to be the winner. I was a terror with my blonde permed mullet, freckles and buck teeth. I took joy in sending people flying into the tires with one swift turn of the wheel. The track was mine and you better get out the way.
I looked at life like that too.
I see it in my boys now. Everything is a race. It’s a competition to see who finishes first, who collects the most or the best, cards. Who gets the most points the fastest. And on and on and on.
Great things can come from the drive to compete.
It’s perfect if it’s about setting healthy goals or even having fun with friends. But if it’s rooted in comparison, it can ruin relationships. It can spoil dreams. The constant striving to beat the next person can distract you from staying in your lane and running your race.
Your race might be taking you somewhere no one else has gone.
You might be the one meant to explore the mountains to lead a new way for others to follow. You might be the one for the faraway villages serving and teaching. You might be meant for the stage or the hospital or the boardroom.
But you’ll miss your race if your stuck on the same old track, going round and round, doing whatever it takes, to win.
As you go through your day today, look out beyond the track that’s familiar, the one filled with repetitive comparison. Look off the beaten path to the path in the distance, the one that’s full of creation and connection. That just might be the one that’s been waiting for you all along.
Let your drive take you there.
to more love,