Maybe it’s just me. Or does anyone else find competition just exhausting?
I still love wins and a successful challenge, like seeing a piece of refinished furniture turn out better than hoped. And you better believe I’m giving myself high-fives and backflips are happening in my head when Jim likes a new meal I cook.
But I can allow that joy to be stolen when I measure my work against someone else’s accomplishments. One scroll through Pinterest or Facebook and, if my mind is not guarded against comparison, the joy I had from that cute little side table or yummy Italian dinner can quickly be diminished.
As I’ve gotten a little less young (oh, alright…older), I’ve also become more comfortable in my own skin. God has been patient and kind over the years, chiseling away and exposing the root of my desire to overachieve. I’m still such a work in progress in this area, but I like what he is doing (I could write volumes on this journey. Perhaps someday…).
But what I really want to share is about this FABULOUS little t-shirt that inspired this blog post. I found this while flipping through a $5 clearance rack of workout clothes.
Yes, I’m a runner. But that’s not the word that made this shirt just everything.
In a world where we strive to be noticed or validated for our successes, pushed to be high achievers and set goals that can frustrate our souls, I think “okay-est” may just be my new favorite word (and let’s just play along that it’s grammatically correct, y’all, because it makes me happy).
I’m not saying settling for average in all things life is a good idea. The Bible is clear about the value of excellence in the areas which mark our character, such as relationships, job, ministry areas. But I find scriptural evidence God meets us in those activities we do for the sheer joy they bring to our hearts.
I am the world’s okay-est pianist. While I won’t be invited to give a concert, God uses times I sit down to play worship music to calm anxiety and prepare my soul to hear from him. Something about putting together the good and bad notes is a picture of my life, like a composition God is writing for his glory.
I am the world’s okay-est decorator. I mean, you won’t walk into my home aghast, but you aren’t whipping out your iPhone to post pics of my fabulous color choices and decor on Instagram, either. But entertaining is not about how things look ~ it’s about hospitality and a welcoming, Christ-like spirit. I am good with not being able to pull off a designer look, but I want to create a warm, comfortable atmosphere where laughter and deep conversations around a kitchen table are encouraging and give life.
And back to that t-shirt.
I am the world’s okay-est runner. Barely faster than a sloth trudging through molasses. But I have developed close friendships and opportunities to share Christ in a community I would have never imagined. Just last week at the Pensacola Marathon expo, I met a couple with whom I had a brief conversation about things of faith. I’m reminded of the quote by Eric Liddell, the British Olympic gold medalist whose life is chronicled in the movie Chariots of Fire: “When I run I feel God’s pleasure.” When we can say that about anything we do, we have experienced worship.
Friends, let’s serve the imperfect cake. Open the color-faded front doors. Hang our Painting-with-a-Twist masterpieces. Sing loudly, even if out of tune.
Take a chance on being exposed as the World’s Okay-est Something.
Because joy is not found in perfect, but in finding God in those small, unexpected moments of our imperfect pursuits.
(For further study, see Psalm 73:12, Romans 12:13).Read More