Monday, April 7, 2014

How listening can help you find what you were made to do

Running a very wet half marathon last April with my husband and daughter

I love to run. When I am able, I like to set aside an hour, or longer, to run on Saturdays. I settle into the rhythmic pace. My muscles warm up. I breathe deep and think, "I am made to do this."

Instantly, I reject this idea.

My thoughts sneer at me, "You'll never win a race. You're slow. How can you even think that you are made to do this?"

It is true that I've never won a race. And that I only ran on the junior varsity of my high school cross country team. It is also true that I am the slowest in my family. Yet, I feel good when I run slow for 4 to 8 miles.

My body instinctively knows that I am made to do this. However, because I'm slower than others, I dismiss this innate sense of what I was 'made to do.' My head rejected this urge based on the interpretation of the data.

It is true that I am slower than many others but that doesn't make it true that I am not suppose to be doing it.

As quick as a pain reflex, my mind concluded that I wasn't made to do this based on comparing myself to others: I am not fast, and I haven't ever won a race. Therefore, I cannot say that I am made to do this.

These thoughts reveal an underlying assumption that it is only worth doing things when you are better than others. Plus, an assumption that it is particularly worth doing if you will win.

These assumptions cause me to look to others, or to a standard, to define my significance rather than what I am suppose to be about in my life.

Though I know that it is unwise to compare myself to others, I hadn't realized until now that in comparing myself to others I was dismissing clues to my calling. I was overlooking these almost imperceptible urges  about the true callings of my life.

How many other clues have I missed?  What else am I believing that it is not worth doing unless I am first? Unless it is big? Unless others will notice? Unless I have a chance at the gold medal?

Not everything that we were made to do will win a gold medal.

But it is hard to embrace this. It is hard to 'run' a pace that my husband can walk. It is hard to be the one who gets the whole family to go for a run but then I am the last one home. It is hard to run consistently and still be so much slower than my husband. It is hard to jog a steady pace and have walkers out-pace me.

It is also hard to hear the small, quiet voice inside of you telling you what you were made to do, especially if you aren't first. Especially if you never win a blue ribbon. Especially if everybody else is better than you.

But it is worth it to listen to the clues.  To learn what it is that we were made to do. To find the works that He prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

I need to stop looking at others. Stop comparing. Start listening to the clues about what the true callings of my life are. Even if I will never win a race.

What about you?  Have you missed any clues to your calling?
Join us in the comments and share your thoughts.
Also linking with Jen at SDG.


  1. Kath, this is yes, perfectly aligned with the 'theme' that's been resonating in my spirit. I liked this line, "Not everything that we were made to do will win a gold medal." Great words.

    I appreciate you. :-)

  2. Kath- These words ring loud truth in my ears: "These thoughts reveal an underlying assumption that it is only worth doing things when you are better than others." Oh how I have struggled with this wrong assumption over the years. Thankfully God is taking us on a journey to quiet this lie and find our true callings!

  3. I love this! As a fellow runner who runs in large races, I never win any of those. But at the same time, I know I was made to run just by how He meets me when I am doing it. So many reason why I run and why I race and it's not just about me -- running has been a pathway God has used to forge new friendships and moments of encouraging strangers.

  4. There's never been a more determined runner. You're still the only REAL marathoner around here! ;-)


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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