I get some of my best post ideas in the strangest of places. Like in the shower, while listening to podcasts. So far no phones have been harmed but it’s become this little sanctuary where I can stop, think, breath and dream. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes before some little hands are knocking on the door to share essential information like “daddy was picking on me so I said “no thank you.”
So cute and so awkward all at the same time. It’s really hard to come up with a logical response when you’re .. you know..in the shower.
But this morning I was praying about what words I could share in this space today and God reminded me of something I had in my community building talk at Declare. It was a reminder for me – about how healthy competition is different from comparison. One will spur you to action, to better, to bigger, to the next level, and one will freeze you right in your tracks and paralyze you from making progress.
Whether you feel the pressure of comparison in real life or online, it’s everywhere. We were created to be in community, and part of that is the ability to notice what others are doing so that we can see where our strengths can be utilized and where our weaknesses can be supported by someone else. But when we start to compare what they’re doing to what we’re doing without considering how God has uniquely created us, we fall into envy. And it can be easy to want to say “Oh. Well, that was my dream too, but since she’s already doing it or they’re doing it with a whole team or look at all the followers they already have, I guess I’ll just give up.”
Here’s the analogy I used at Declare that I want to share with you. While I’m not the analogy queen like Kat Lee, nor will you ever really see me using sports to make a point, God gave me this vision and it’s made all the difference in how I view competition and comparison.
Let’s talk about car manufacturers for a minute. When Karl Benz invented what is considered the “modern automobile” in 1885, it didn’t stop all the other car companies from inventing, creating, and improving. And aren’t you glad? Have you seen a photo of that first car? It would take me days to get anywhere, and I can’t even imagine trying to put a carseat in it. Imagine if all the other car companies had all just said “Oh well. Karl & Bertha are already doing that car thing – I guess we should give up.” In the spirit of healthy competition, they took what had been done, looked at the best of it, and saw where they could use their strengths to create something new – something different – something better.
As you look around at what others are doing, especially in this online space, I want you to start to think of yourself as an architect, an engineer in God’s kingdom. What can you identify as something God has specifically created for YOU – and how can you be wildly obedient to follow through, even – and especially when – it feels like it’s already been done? Instead of looking around with and seeing someone else’s strength as our weakness, how can we focus on what we can bring to the table instead?
What do you feel like God is calling you to do? How will you choose perseverance instead of paralysis?