Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of. 5 You must each accept the responsibilities that are yours. Galatians 4:4-5

Speaker, singer, and author Sheila Walsh tells this story of her first becoming a part of the "Women Of Faith" ministry tours. She had almost no experience in speaking in public, and after listening to some of the other women speak powerfully of the things of the Lord, in panic, she retreated to the ladies room and cried to Him, "Lord, I can't do this!" She said that in response, she heard His quiet whisper, "Sheila, run in your own lane." She was not called to be in the lane that any of the other women ran in, only hers. That was her calling, and that was His expectation. It is so for each of us....whatever ministry it is that He's purposed for us. And He has a purposeful calling for each one. A purpose and calling none but us can fill.

Walsh tells another story concerning her sister, also a singer, but never on the scale of Walsh herself. She said she once accompanied this sister on a ministry she carried out twice a month in her home town in Scotland. She would go to a retirement home there and sing for the people. Walsh said that her "crowd" was usually about seven. Six of them would always sit in the back row, but one, each time, would sit at the very front. Walsh said that as her sister was about to sing another song, the elderly lady in front said loudly, "Oh no, she's going to sing again." Dumbfounded, she asked her sister afterwards, "How can you do this?" Her sister's answer both amazed and humbled her. She said, "Sheila, I'm simply going to bloom where my Father has planted me." She would run in her own lane. She would not be looking at her sister Sheila's lane, or at anyone else's. She would run in the lane her Father had given her. She would run to win, and she would win because she ran for Him alone. Can we? Do we? Will we?

A lifestyle of comparing ourselves to others is a death wish, yet we so easily fall prey to it. No one more so than pastors and other ministers in the body of Christ. Getting our eyes on others is the surest path to defeat and despair. Back in the early 50's, two men, Roger Bannister and John Landy became the first to run a four minute mile. Such was their fame that eventually a race between the two was arranged. It was called "The Miracle Mile." Throughout the race, Landy led, but only a few yards from the finish line, he looked over his shoulder to see where Bannister was, and at that moment, Bannister passed him and won the race. His focus went from the lane he was in, to the lane Bannister occupied. How often do you and I do that, and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? How often do we look with envy at the bloom of others and lose the bloom meant for us? Where do we do it now?

You and I are called to run the race, in the lane that He has given us. We are not to constantly measure the number who follow others, or who follow us. We are to keep our eyes on the One who runs with us, in the lane we are in. In the end, it will not be about how many or how much that marks our calling. It will be about the beauty of our "bloom" as we ran in the lane He created us for. For the one who's heart's desire is to bloom in beauty for Him, the victory circle will always include them. It will always be the place where they end. Will it be ours? It will, if we stay in our lane, eyes upon Him, blooming for Him all the while.

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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