“We are all born originals—why is it so many of us die copies?”
My early morning jog began as usual: cellphone on, earbuds in, audio version of Bible Gateway playing. Then I met her at the top of the hill.
“How far have you gone?” She greeted me as she turned to circle a small, gravel parking lot. It was obvious that she enjoyed running and did it often.
“I just started.” I answered after pulling out my earbud. I informed her I lived at the bottom of the hill and would be running the roads of the campground.
We smiled and waved good-bye. My normal routine resumed.
However something had changed in me. I no longer felt confident or adequate as I compared myself to this running diva.
Quite a few years older than I, she was still lean with muscular legs. Her skin glistened with sweat from what I assumed was nearly a dozen miles already run that morning.
How did I compare? My jogging consisted of 2 miles of interspersed running and walking. Hardly up to her standards.
A few minutes later, I passed her again as she put her little 4-legged jogging partner in a camper. Something (shame maybe) compelled me to address her again, pointing out that she was a far greater runner than I.
Through no fault of hers, in her presence, I felt like a pretender.
Unfortunately, it’s not only in the area of exercise where I let myself feel inadequate. I excel at that exercise.
Feeling like I’m not enough comes all too easy.
Not strong enough to parent a daughter who cannot tell me many of her wants and needs.
Not a wise enough mother to guide my grown children.
Not perceptive enough to make solid future decisions.
Not a skilled enough writer to get a publishing contract.
Not dedicated enough to maintain my health.
It screams at me daily as I look at the lives of others. Increasingly, I’m able to bat the lie away; still, often I struggle to believe differently.
Yet, my new jogging friend was gracious. As we rounded each curve of the road and crested each hill, she assured me that my exercise was enough for me, not only in the words she offered, but in her actions.
She quietly matched her running to mine. I felt no judgement from her when I periodically slowed to a walk. No sigh of impatience. No whisper of relief when I began jogging again.
She accepted my form of exercise as enough. Not enough for her, but enough for me.
It Is Enough To Be Who You Are
What a wonderful show of grace; demonstrating to me that I don’t have to measure up to everyone else. I don’t have to jog as far or as fast, write as much or as well, sing as lovely.
I don’t have to compare myself to others. Because God made us each original.
He placed each of us in a unique place.
He has a unique plan for each of us to carry out.
And that’s reassuring to those of us who struggle to be enough.
After all, we can never be enough in all areas. And what is enough anyway?
But God will help us be enough for our individual circumstances. He has given us the perfect gifts to impact those in our sphere of influence.
He has a unique plan for each of our lives that we can embrace.
And the rest? All we’re not doing? Those areas we fall short?
God has it covered. Maybe He has someone else in mind to do it, or maybe He’s preparing it and you for another season of your life.
No matter, you and I are exactly enough (in the Lord’s wisdom and strength) to fulfill the assignments that are ours to do.
We can count on it!
Tell Yourself the Truth
I’m learning to believe it. Here are two things that have helped:
- Reminding myself daily of God’s sovereignty and goodness and who I am in His eyes.
- Sifting out and focusing on those things God has called me to do, not those He’s delegated to someone else.
We are not our neighbor or that friend we admire. In fact, we can only effectively be us. The one and only me and you!
So let’s work on ditching the comparison game. Instead, let’s walk out the best version of us we can. God can help. In fact, He will help. We just need to ask.
And when those sneaky, “You’re not enough” accusations hit, send them packing by filling in the blank to this statement with the area in question.
With God’s help, I’m exactly enough to __________________________!
Here’s my biggie: With God’s help, I’m exactly enough to parent my daughter well!
As for my exercise routine? I’ll stick with my 2 mile walk/jog, thanks. It works for me, providing the right amount of dedicated exercise for this girl.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you..” John 15:16