Sunday, August 22, 2010

From Competition to the Finish Line

Competition. I'm curious, are you competitive? Personally I'm not sure I have a competitive bone in by body. I tend to clap for both teams of a sporting event when a good play happens. Although I want my children to succeed, I'm not sure it's best for them to always win, I think the learning happens in the losing. As a child I was not athletic in any way, shape, or form. This has in fact carried over into adulthood. I'm a klutz simple as that. I cannot count the number of times I've fallen down the stairs, I can't run from my drive way to the stop sign without thinking that the end of my life is surely near as I feel there is no way I'm making it around the block at that rate, so I walk, briskly and try not to trip over a pebble or my own two feet. You may find this hard to believe but I did have dance training for seven years of my childhood. You would think that this would have helped to make me graceful. Unfortunately the only thing I got out of it is the ability to stand with my feet in I believe what is called first position. What this amounts to is that I had a tendency to walk like a duck with my feet out. So no I'm not an athlete.

In what other ways do we tend to compete? At church today someone mentioned that they were competitive when it came to running but more so with themselves than with other people. This got me to thinking. I can think of no instance where I tend to get competitive unless it's when playing games with my family. If we are playing Scrabble, then yes I get competitive. As any mistake on my part will lead to 20 yrs of ridicule, and me waiting for 10 yrs for my husband to say or do something stupid so I can have a comeback. I don't play sports, I don't like to play cards, I don't have an attention span for half the board games we own.

In this world of haves and have nots do you compete or do you relish in other's successes and count the blessings that God has given you? As a child I had a friend who always seemed to need to "one up" me. This bothered me at the time because I couldn't understand the need. I grew up in a world of dysfunction, walking in a sea of sadness just trying to blend in to survive. There was nothing functional in the house I grew up in. I spent the majority of my childhood hoping that I could spend the weekends at friend's houses. In the dysfunction and the guilt I was given stuff to make it better. As a kid of course you like the "stuff" and gladly accept it even though what you long for is the love and acceptance you will never gain. Perhaps in my world I gave up any desire for competition because the only things I ever wanted I knew I would never gain. Back to my friend though, when I got a t.v. for Christmas, she would get a t.v. and v.c.r. If I got a commodore vic 20 computer, she'd get the equivalent of a mac. I didn't grow up with Nike, I never met Ralph Lauren. I thought I lived in a house only to grow up and discover I lived in a double wide. But I could take you through my room and tell you who gave me each thing I ever owned. I was thankful. Perhaps that's the difference in yesterday and today with children and some adults. Those who have grown up always having take for granted what they have and what they have been fortunate enough not to have had to deal with. Those who had nothing but grew up to have their dreams come true understand the gift.

I understand that the things of my childhood could have been worse. I understand that all the things I've seen and encountered and lived through have helped to create the person I'm still trying to become. Am I competitive? I don't think so. Am I blessed beyond measure? Absolutely! This weekend I watched a movie called "To Save A Life" if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you rent it. It takes place in a high school. I could see everyone I ever went to school with in that movie. No one knows what happens inside another person's mind. No one knows how people deal with despair. They can only know what's in their own heart. But tell me this, isn't it worth it to find out? What if that kid that gets picked on in school doesn't know the Lord, doesn't have a clue how to deal with the frustration and heartache that something like that leaves, doesn't know who to turn to, and thinks that just maybe they and the world would be better off without them. I have to admit I had every one of those thoughts at one time or another in my life. God however had another plan. I'm a sinner. I am a work in progress. I am the farthest thing from perfect you will ever see. BUT, I have felt the presence of God in my house. I have seen His miracles in my life. I have seen His miracles in the life of my mother. I lost my mother to cancer, but I got to see Him work in her and she was saved and baptized before she died. That my friends is a miracle. It is a miracle worth seeing and it's a miracle worth experiencing. I don't have to know the reasons for everything, I don't have to understand why I didn't grow up like the Brady Bunch, it is not for me to understand. I can tell you this, to feel the sunshine and feel the breeze and know the joy that unfolds when you walk in the light. There is nothing greater. Do I still mess up daily? Yes, but you don't walk into a college class and immediately know everything after the first session. It's a learning that takes time and effort and a willingness to admit fault. He already knows them all anyway. You may as well confess them and save some time. I also have to believe He has a sense of humor, otherwise what on earth would He want with me? There are people in this world who need someone to blame for the bad things that happen in the world. The target is usually God. Why does God not put an end to my pain. I have a question? Did you ask Him to? Why doesn't He stop things from happening? Free Will. He wants you to come to Him. He wants you help you, He loves you beyond anything you can even comprehend. You know I'm not a preacher, I couldn't lead a Sunday school class of 2 yr olds. The amount I don't know far surpasses what I do. I'm nobody, I always have been. You don't have to listen to me. You can say hey that lady has lost her mind. But let me ask you this...What if that kid who grew up in despair actually figured something out? What if there is a reason I'm so happy and actually grew the courage up to type all this out for the world to see? Those who know me know I like to write, but I tend not to lean to anything very serious. So call this my medium. I'm not likely to feel comfortable talking in groups of people. If you want my full story you are unlikely to get it in a crowd. Plus it's still being written. But I can tell you where I've been and how I got out of the pit. It surely wasn't anything I did. I'm a weakly. But my God is mighty. Think about it.

1 comment:

kelly van ness said...

Great perspective & I couldn't agree more. Funny how when we take a look back in time we have a V8 moment. God does have a plan. He knows our hearts and knows the outcome.

I will have to argue though that you ARE SOMEBODY! With a purpose! As you're a Mom, Wife, Daughter, & friend! the blog!