In My Own Lane
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. -2 Timothy 4:7
I’m not sure if it’s kosher to use a graphic that I designed for work a few years ago, but it just keeps coming to mind. Friday night at the Gathering, several women stood at the podium and gave wonderful advice based on what they’ve learned through their own experiences and what God’s shared in His Word. (When I’ve processed it more, I’ll write about Abbie’s sacrifice bomb.)
Meredith King (who I’m pretty sure would be my bff if I wasn’t a total stranger) spoke last, and what she said connected some dots in my life and mind.
Several years ago, a principal told some of our teachers to “stay in their own lane.” At the time, it felt negative—threatening, even. It was the first time I’d heard that phrase used in a professional setting, and because of the situation we were in and what I perceived as the teachers being helpful, I didn’t take it well. Time and distance are beautiful things, though, and when the situation went from boiling to simmering I was able to process what the principal meant…and I saw the value in it. Not in the timing or the tone or the word choice in the situation, but if I assume the best of her I can see how she meant to be helpful.
When we chose a running theme the next year for our staff development, we used the idea of “staying in your own lane” in a positive way, and that was pretty much the end of that for me. Until Friday, when Meredith King talked about each of us staying in our own lane, running our own race. Meredith, if you said this and I’m stealing it, you can have it back.
I’ve been picturing this race, this life, all wrong. I was picturing a track with lanes, like the one we walked endlessly in high school gym. To me, there was a finish line—and we were all running in the race. But that’s not it at all…each lane is its own race. Everyone has a different finish line, different obstacles, different distances—we are all running our own races, simultaneously. We aren’t racing each other at all.
But I consider my life of no value to myself, if only I may finish my course and complete the ministry I have received from the Lord Jesus--the ministry of testifying to the good news of God's grace.
I’m going to sit with this one…but I wondered if that mental picture might help you work through something. Are you struggling with comparison? Worth? Your place in this world? Maybe you needed this, too.