Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

It is hard not to compare yourself to others.  Most of us naturally do that from time to time.  My first marriage ended in divorce, and at times I have looked wistfully at my friends who will be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversaries and thought, “Why couldn’t that have been me?”  I don’t know the answer to that question.   What I do know is that in the end God blessed me with a second husband who treats me beautifully and loves me completely.  He is kind, generous, easy-going and patient.  So why should I complain?  My path has led me to a marriage that is everything I could have ever hoped for.

When we are tempted to compare ourselves to others, it is important to remember that we each are running our own race – alone.  The race I’ve run has been incredibly different from those around me.  At times I’ve felt that I was really doing well.  At other times, my life has looked like a train wreck when everyone else seemed to have it all together.

Comparison doesn’t work because we weren’t meant to each live exactly the same life.  The key is to have faith that God will guide you to the path that is right for you.  In my own life, I’ve learned to accept that God’s ways are not my ways.  So while I might wish that my path was an easy, obstacle-free road, I’ve realized that my journey was not meant to be straight or perfect.

We all need to run the race that God intended for us.  And we need to understand that some parts of that race aren’t going to be very glamorous.  I am a mother, and one part of my race involved two years of changing diapers and never getting a full night’s sleep.  I am divorced, so another part of my race was filled with pain – the emotional, weeping on the inside while putting a big smile on the outside kind of pain.  But other parts of my race have been exciting, travel-filled, amazing adventures.

Now that I am older, I run at a calmer, more introspective speed.  The race I run today is less focused on what I want to get out of life and is more focused on the legacy I wish to leave behind.  And from time to time, I still run from my youthful demons of impatience and criticism and attempt to run toward maturity, compassion and selflessness.

So the next time you are tempted to compare yourself to others, make running your own race your new mantra.  Realize that there is no one else like you.  So when you give your best to the world, you won’t be imitating anyone else, and you’ll be running your own race without competition.

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