On Wednesday, I snuck my run in before youth group, finishing it up at the church. Running in CP is good for my foot because I can easily avoid hills and the asphalt/side of the road there is noticeably softer and more comfortable than the concrete sidewalks of the city. I can’t avoid people though when I feel bad; there’s always people running in CP. There’s this guy who I’ve often seen running around there. You can tell he knows the difference between tempo and marathon pace (not sure I know). Good arm carriage. Relaxed, but powerful stride. Usually, when I see him, I get inspired to run. I saw him on Tuesday during my run and I wasn’t inspired…
He had the “I’m tired because I just finished a killer workout, but I could still kick your butt” look about him and since he was moving away from a track I assumed he had just finished a killer workout. I, on the other hand, was shuffling along and breathing way too hard for an easy run. Form? What is form? In that moment, I wished I was like him because he obviously was in shape, fast, injury free, able to run in extreme temperatures without ill effects, beloved by all, and bored with his car at home in the parking garage beneath his mansion so he’s going out to buy a new one. With cash. Man, that escalated quickly.
One of the easiest traps for me to fall into is comparing myself to others which leads to some crazy assumptions. When it comes to running, I usually don’t compare myself to guys because the stakes aren’t the same. But that day, I was feeling vulnerable. And then, I came to my senses. Maybe Mr. Cool Running-Sunglasses-That-I-Have-Always-Wanted is all those things. And maybe he isn’t. It doesn’t matter to my training. It doesn’t matter to my self worth.
It’s not just in running that I become susceptible to this woeful way of thinking. Time and time again I catch myself thinking Wow, she has great hair. My hair is never going to look like that or she’s so patient and never snaps at her husband. She probably makes a gourmet meal every night and LOVES cleaning the toilet, too. Maybe I’m alone in thinking like this, but probably not, eh?
That’s when I have to stop and say, “whoa there, Molly.” And Philippians 4:8 comes into play:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV)
Running gives me time to think. To my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, pray for me that this verse (and others) will pop into my head whenever I begin to wrongfully compare myself to others.