Running the Race

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Each Monday and Tuesday morning, I get to wind down the barn-lined, back road highways to Fremont, Michigan for my clinical rotation. At first, the thought of driving an hour there and back sounded a little tiresome, but now I’ve come to really cherish the uninterrupted silence. I think amidst my busy college student schedule, the Lord knew exactly what I needed; especially one week where I was feeling overwhelmingly inadequate. I was having a tough time adjusting to my new role at the hospital, I didn’t feel pretty or confident, and it was in one of these quiet, snowy drives that I had to face my frustrations and literally just shout out: Lord, who do you say that I am?

Lately, I had noticed that the devil loves to push me towards either the prideful or insecure names that diminish my identity as a daughter of Christ in the hope that I will forget my true calling. When I put myself on a pedestal, it shifts my focus to looking down on others through comparison and makes it impossible to look up at God. I reflect arrogance and contribute to the world’s fallen state. Then, once I’ve built myself up, the devil speaks inadequacies and inconsistencies to trap and seal me in the opinions of the world.

In both scenarios, I am either negatively viewing myself, or negatively viewing others. Nobody wins. Everyone becomes divided by competition. That’s why, in the end, I don’t even know who the real Emily is anymore. At that point, I’ve been called so many contradicting names that I cling to anything that comes along to provide me with a sense of identity. This is dangerous because then who I am is based on my circumstances.

This was especially evident in my clinical rotation. The first few weeks, I had felt really good about my scanning and on top of the world. But sure enough, as soon as one exam came along where I couldn’t get good images, my confidence plummeted. I suddenly became so wrapped up in falling behind my peers that I felt like I couldn’t even enjoy the opportunity to get my hands on the machine and interact with patients. I became so focused on trying to be the best that I didn’t even open myself up to what God could do through me.

And in that morning drive, I came to this realization: what if there is no competition? What if this sense of competition was made up to divide us, and in the end, we can all receive the same prize? People would be so much more willing to stop and help someone who was injured or congratulate someone who has kept a consistent pace if they knew, at the end, they would both achieve the same reward. This would shift our eyes from those other runners around us to the final goal available to us all. Christ on the cross, the Obedient Son, is the mirror that reflects to each of us our true identity.

This identity is consistent, unchanging, and restorative. It reminds us that we are sons and daughters of Christ. Not only that, but He wants to run the race with us, and that is literally why he became part of the HUMAN RACE! Mind. Blown. Through His death, He opened that reward as a possibility. He can be alongside us to whisper those nuggets of truth: that we are enough, that we are loved. And He can remind us that everyone else is too.

For the remainder of this Lent, bring to light those identities that you tend to cling to and lay them down at the foot of the cross. Ask the Lord for healing in relationships that are wounded by comparison. Let Him in to run the race at your side and to help keep your eyes on the prize, all the way to the finish line.