My most recent blog post for our church’s website will go live on Monday. We are in the midst of a series on dealing with drastic changes in life and it is on the power of the comparison trap.
It is too easy to paralyze ourselves as we see others succeed.
Some people thrive from comparisons. They live to compete, always have the finish line in sight, and chase goals with tenacity. The thrill of victory is enough.
For the rest of us, competition is much harder.
I was never a Type A personality. Give me a book on a quiet Saturday afternoon, and I’m set. My motivation was intrinsic, not placed against outside forces.
I was the kid that responded to the individual recognition for the end result, not the race to the finish. Let me work in a vacuum and I’ll survive.
Probably the reason writing lives deep in my soul.
As you age, you realize this kind of success is impossible. There is no vacuum. All it takes is the first bad experience to know you will play a part in the environment around you no matter what you choose.
I remember the negative moments of my youth, the teasing and unkind words. I remember going to college and realizing the world is much bigger, that the point was to find your own identity and maybe getting a job would be the answer.
Then you realize the bullies took a different form as middle managers bent on making your days as rough as possible. There would always be someone grasping for power in their own kingdom.
You get married and have kids and do your best to help them find a safe path while learning how to process the bad things as they come.
The blog post on Monday scares me more than any other I’d written for the church. It cut deeply. I’d felt like that kid again, that victim wondering why I was getting picked on and just wanting to disappear.
I believe God turns our scars into stories. Looking back is an important step in looking forward and finding the way to truly be free. Life is a journey and these tough nights and weeks are a part of the bigger picture.
The picture that will take shape into more beauty than we’d ever imagine.