This weekend we drove to Bakersfield to visit my mother-in-law. Long, long holiday weekend drive. You know the kind. Crazy insane traffic, people everywhere, cars everywhere. At some point you just want to tell someone to stay in their lane. To relax, I like to listen to podcasts. I’ve recently started listening to Oprah’s Super Soul podcasts, love them, and one of many I played on that drive was Oprah talking to Joel Olsteen.
Now, I’m not a regular listener of Joel Olsteen, but their conversation was interesting on many levels, and one area that struck me was discussion about staying in your lane. Appropriate for what we were experiencing in that moment! Joel talked about Hebrews 12:1 “…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Doing that requires that we stay in our lane. Our lane.
That begs the question. Do you know your lane? Because it’s hard to run your race well if you don’t even know what your lane is or maybe even the race you’re in. Or if you’re always looking into someone else’s lane thinking it might be better. Strike a chord? It did for me.
For a lot of my life, I believe I’ve been running someone else’s race, without really being clear on what race it was. That’s what happens when you try to live your life trying to meet someone else’s expectations. And you might think you know what the other person’s expectations are, but chances are you really don’t. In my case, the expectations I’d chosen to believe, and probably had enhanced in my mind, were impossible to reach, and worse yet, they probably weren’t even legit.
All trying to meet someone else’s expectations is going to do is leave you empty. Aching. Knowing that there is more you’re being called to do, but not knowing how to break out from the wrong lane you’re in to get there. I know, I’ve been there. I was in the wrong lane for so long, and in reality, I wasn’t that far off track, but off enough to feel the ache. Enough to know that there was more that God was calling me to do. It looks like unhappiness, it feels a little like depression, life feels flat.
And I searched, mainly within myself. I looked deep inside at my beliefs. At what was holding me back. I questioned a lot of things in my life. A spiral…so many false beliefs …assumptions…based on what I thought I should be doing, or what I thought other people wanted me to do. Things I believed, and when I finally realized they weren’t true, that I didn’t have to feel restricted by them anymore…well then what??
That’s when I found my lane. Stepped into the me that I was created to be. And all my wiring finally started coming together. I remember feeling like I was stepping into my life, into confidence in how I was created and what I was supposed to be doing. It wasn’t exactly what I thought, because that’s other thing. Sometimes we think we want to be in a particular lane and it’s not where we belong. We can force it, muscle it, but only for a while. But when it’s wrong it will exhaust you.
What about you? Whose lane are you in, yours’ or someone else’s? If you want to run your race, get into your lane! Don’t think the person next to you has a better lane, more glamorous lane. Know that your race is just that, it’s your race, unique, and specially created for you. Only you and God know what that race is supposed to be. When you find it, or if you’ve already found it, you’ll know that it is an amazing place to be. Life clicks. You have to be brave to get there, to stay there. I did, it’s still a journey, but I’m staying in my lane while I do it. I hope you’ll join me.