I was never an athlete, so I never really was competitive. I was in Science Olympiad however.
If you do not know what that is, just picture the name. Olympics for science nerds. I memorized the Latin names of animals genus and species for goodness sakes. ( I did win by the way)
I enjoy the fellowship of games more than winning the game, especially if there are snacks involved .
I do not think of myself as competitive. But I am a Comparer. ( I had to google to see if that is a word. It is. It means one who compares.)
I can find myself walking into a room and comparing myself to the people in the room. I wonder if you do that too?
Comparing how they look to how I look. How they are good at something with how I do something. How they impact a room.
Sometimes I can compare to feel better about myself, sometimes I compare and feel worse.
Comparison can quickly turn into competition.
I cannot imagine how that grieves the heart of God. Each of us are created uniquely in His image, fearfully and wonderfully made.
Last week, I attended the Speak Up Conference put on by Carol Kent Ministries. This was my fourth year to attend. What an incredible weekend of equipping and teaching for those of us who have experienced God’s calling to write and speak.
So many wonderful classes taught by incredible faculty. Such helpful practical sessions.
In these four years, I have learned everything from how to find your ministry brand, how to write a one-sheet, how to write a book proposal, how to use social media for God’s glory, and how to outline a talk for speaking– among many other things.
I go to this conference every year with big dreams that I pray are God’s dreams. We have the blessing of 15 minute appointments with editors, agents and writing experts. People who can help you get a book dream published.
I remember that first year , waiting for those appointments, feeling like a poser. Like I did not belong there.
Comparing myself to everyone else meeting with experts and feeling anything but ENOUGH.
I remember seeing a room full of beautiful talented woman called to speak. It was easy to compare. With each comparison came the temptation to see these woman as competition.
You may not be at a conference for writers and speakers but I imagine you have those moments. Walk into a room of mom’s and compare their parenting to yours. Their Pintrest parties to your birthday flop. Walk into the gym and compare your red face to the one barely sweating .
God spoke to me that first year. He said why don’t you let go of competition? Why don’t you stop walking in a room and comparing?
Why don’t you see community instead?
This year I could hardly wait to get to Speak up to see my friends. To cheer on the ones that had signed book deals, who were seeing their dreams come true. To pray with those who were pitching their book proposals. To laugh with until I cried and hold the hands and pray with the friend who needed to cry.
Community together. Celebrating each other not comparing to one another.
One of the biggest takeaways for me this year was the reminder to let my light shine. To not hide this light, because it is His light. To speak and write with excellence, but not try to shine anyone else’s light. To let MY light shine. His light through me and in me and in spite of me.
I do not want to waste any time shining the light of Christ trying to compare myself to someone else.
I just want us all to shine.