Track practice. Track uniforms. Long (and I do mean long…) track meets. That’s our new life right now. For a bit I was unscathed by “sports mom” duty. Thankful for not having to drive to and fro. Or sit through my Saturday in hot sun, or frigid cold temperatures on a Tuesday night.

Until I didn’t have that luxury anymore.

And while it has added a new dynamic to what is already our crazy family life, I am thankful for this season.

I am thankful that she chose it, because it means without mom and dad nagging her to do this or that-she invested in it because it was solely her idea.

I’m thankful for the memories it conjures up of my own long (hours long) track meets. The thrill of standing at the finish line cheering your teammates to the end, even if they didn’t win.

Even if they didn’t win.

I’m even thankful for that. Because it has taught me something. Watching my girl run with reckless abandon has taught me something.

Just stay in your lane. And what do I mean by that?

Rick Warren in his book The Purpose Driven Life likens our unique purpose to a race. He states about our journey to fulfill God’s calling in our lives: “Don’t be envious of the runner in the lane next to you; just focus on finishing your race.”

And I have noticed something as I have watched my girl run. She stays in her lane. She isn’t looking back. She isn’t focused on who is ahead of her. She just runs, until she is finished.

And her teammates cheer her on until the end. Through the finish line. Because she finished. Not because she won.

And that’s the thing with these races. With watching these boys and girls run what appears to be the longest of laps around the track. You get applause just for finishing.

Not for being first. Not for running the fastest time. Not for using the perfect form to jump a hurdle. Not for jumping the highest. You are not looking at the person next to you to determine if you are better or worse.

You put YOUR best foot forward and you simply finish!

Stay in your lane today. Be it in a fast sprint or a slow stroll. Don’t compare yourself to the person who is faster, higher, or first.

Just run your race. At your pace, and finish. I’ll be at the finish line cheering you on.

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