Comparison is the root of discontent.
This is one truth I discovered this last decade or so.
We will never fully appreciate what we have if we always compare ourselves to other people.
My solution for this is to stay focused and run my race.
I watched a great example of this during the Olympics. One of the track and field athletes actually lost his heat because instead of looking forward and pressing toward the finish line, he looked to his left and to his right for the other runners. If he had only focused on the goal ahead, he would have qualified for the next race.
This is something my youngest and I are battling at present.
The topic of ACTs and SATs is popular among seniors. However, test taking has never been Lan’s strong point. His acceptance into a graphics arts/animation program will not be due to high test scores.
Still, listening to his friends has made him anxious. Comparing their plans with his own is causing frustration for both of us!
I have repeatedly told him he doesn’t have to pursue his goals the way others pursue theirs. I’m trying to make him understand this lesson, one that I’ve had to “learn” myself a time or two.
The temptation to compare ourselves with others is always present. Often in parenting, the opportunities are endless. Yet, this is a dangerous habit because it is so easy to become disenchanted with what you have based on the briefest glimpse into someone else’s life.
When we allow these comparisons to root themselves in us, they often leach away the peace and contentment that God provides.
The infamous “why my child?” easily pops into mind.
God’s answer of “you can handle it” isn’t usually a welcome answer.
We can sometimes allow the progress we make to be diminished by what we perceive around us. However, what we perceive isn’t always true.
I choose to appreciate my here and now, very much aware plenty of people would be more than satisfied with my particular set of “problems.”
I’m trying to teach Lan, by example, to be grateful for gains. Personal “success” is independent of what others think or do!
Lan may not be the most academically strong student; however, he does have an artistic flair all his very own. When we focus on our strengths and not what we think we lack, we can fully fulfill God’s purpose for our lives.
I’ve learned the hard way that what works for someone else isn’t necessarily going to work for me. My “success” in life won’t come following someone else’s blueprint. God gives us what we need to create our own.
I found peace and joy when I nurtured my own talents. I found contentment when I learned to enjoy being me.
I pray Lan learns this lesson far sooner than I ever did.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. Psalm 139:13-14 NKJV
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose. Psalm 20:4 NKJV