Have you ever attended a track meet or watched a track and field event on TV? As a track coach, I’ve both seen and participated in my fair share. You will have noticed the white lines neatly arranged on the track, white lines that create lanes. Each runner has their lane; a clear, demarcated strip of track in which they must stick to and not venture out of. If an Olympic sprinter were to take one step on either side of this line during their race they would then be disqualified.
Sadly enough, this actually happened to the Canadian Men’s 4x100M relay team in the London 2012 Olympics. They had finished in third place with much excitement and celebration…until they rolled the playback video. The judges noticed that the third-leg runner had taken a step on the white line; it was devastating.
Have you ever taken a step on the white line that marks your lane?
Have you ever desired to be something that didn’t come so naturally to you?
Have you ever gone in a direction that led you astray?
I feel, in some way, we all have been “disqualified” from a race, metaphorically speaking. Now, more than ever, it is easy to be influenced by people we have never met. At times this influence can make us wish our lives looked more like someone else’s. We may find ourselves questioning our current season in life and worrying about the direction in which we’re running. We may make efforts to work towards a goal that looks promising because we’ve seen it achieved by others…but what about you? What about your lane?
Have you consulted God?
Have you sought His direction for your life?
Hey track star, when the goals we pursue in life do not work out and we end up falling short of the finish line, it’s because we’re not listening to the Coach; we’re not involving God! So, instead of running a medal-placing race we end up getting “disqualified” for stepping on that white line.
We may run around frantically, wondering why something we want so badly to work just isn’t lining up. And in this frantic dash towards a fruitless finish line we end up forgetting the most important thing: being still, at the feet of our Father. Even though we fill our time racing and running and reaching after sincerely good things like ministry, Kingdom building businesses, joining Christian movements, going on missions trips, serving the church and people in different ways…they will not and do not take the place of spending one on one time with Jesus.
Think of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42.
Martha opened her home to Jesus to serve Him, but she became distracted, worried and stressed about the details. But Mary chose to position herself at the feet of Jesus and listen to the Words He spoke. Words for her. Martha became frustrated that her sister chose not to help her and demanded that He tell Mary to join her in the preparations.
What Jesus proceeded to tell her makes me think that Martha may have been surprised by His answer.
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10: 41-42 NKJV
Who is to say that Mary would not have helped Martha in her preparations (after all, the story only ends at verse 42). However, Mary made it her business to sit at the feet of Jesus before doing anything else! Before busying herself with organizing, cooking and prepping, she first chose to consult Jesus and listen to what He had to say to her – personally!
I think we can agree that if Martha had done the same as Mary, she would have had a much different experience. We know this because the Bible says in Proverbs 16:9
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” -NKJV
To have the Lord direct our steps we must position ourselves at Jesus’ feet – just like Mary – listening to the Word He has for us. This may be a new, deeper type of relationship between you and Jesus. But I want to encourage you, that’s not only how we stay in our lane…that’s how we win our race.
Love & blessings,