Jadon was an athlete, running a 100m race with 6 other competitors. In the middle of the race, he suddenly slowed down and jogged to the finish line. His medical team hurried to make their checks and as it obviously looked, nothing was wrong with him. “So what happened?” they asked. “On the pitch next to this one…” he started. “I noticed other athletes racing. I knew I would finish before all of them, even if I crawl. That is why I stopped.”
“Are you that stupid?” “You mean you don’t know you are competing with those in your tracks?” “How did it even cross your mind to race against them?” These were just three of the questions the crowd hooted at him.
If you were there, which question would you have confronted Jadon with?
Well, don’t be too mean on him because most of us are like him. You are probably one too.
Lessons From Jadon’s Story
Like many people do, Jadon was only copying from the other pitch. But as it is said, the main reason people fail in the exam called life is that they keep copying others, not realizing that everyone has a different question paper. Jadon should have known this. He should have known that those other athletes were in a different race altogether—one that had nothing to do with his.
But just like Jadon, we must also realize that every other human being is on a different pitch. Everyone starts their life journeys at specific times and finishes off at a different time. Life treats each person differently and surrounds everybody with unique challenges and circumstances. We are clearly in no competition with anybody.
Whenever we tell ourselves “I must achieve what Kofi achieved in life” or “I need to match up with what my colleagues are doing” or “I am doing well in life because most of those I grew up with are still struggling,” we are behaving just like Jadon.
The Interesting Revelation
The amazing revelation to catch here is, once we are alive, we are actually in a race. Even the good book asks us to run so we may obtain the prize set before us. (1 Corinthians 9:24) Only that we don’t share the tracks with humans but with our own inner elements.
You are not performing well if you are just doing better than others. You are doing well only if you are triumphing in all the opportunities that came your way, efficiently utilizing all your resources and making the most of your fullest potentials.
For instance, in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), the servant with 5 talents would have still been the one with the highest returns, even if he came back with additional 4 talents. But that wouldn’t have pleased the master too well, because the race was not against his colleagues, but the number of talents he was given.
If you are more gifted than somebody, it is not an opportunity to lord yourself over them or mock them for achieving less. Far from it! It is rather a responsibility to ensure you make the most of everything you have.
If you are less talented, less skilled or less intelligent, it is not a chance to sit back and complain you are less privileged. You are responsible for what you have, not what you don’t have. And so you must make the most of your circumstances.
Once alive, we are constantly in a race but at the same time, not in any competition. Never look at another person and feel satisfied or depressed. They are in a different race altogether. Focus on the capabilities you have and resources at your disposal. Those are your very competitors, because it is in you conquering them, that you obtain success in its truest sense.
Authored by Ebenezer Agbey Quist. Share to bless someone.
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