“And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life; by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.” I Timothy 4:12
The Message Bible
Young in age? Young in faith? Young in attitude? Young in maturity? At least one should fit all of us. Perhaps more than one? Read on. . .
Imagine this scenario: You’re walking into a conference or seminar auditorium in your most sophisticated suit. You feel you look your best. Neat, tailored and seeking an adventure in learning. You seat yourself somewhere in the mid-section since you are eager to learn but you do not want to draw attention to yourself. The room begins to fill and suddenly you are surrounded by other believers with a similar desire to learn. You smile and make some limited but uncomfortable contact here and there hoping the speaker begins asap!
Whew! The lecture begins and it’s marvelous. You take some notes and fully enjoy yourself. Then an announcement echoes across the PA system. You are instructed to split up into smaller groups to do a series of discussion sessions. A lump forms in your throat but you decide to shrug off your anxiety and smile confidently for your peers.
Assigned to a group of four others, you already feel like the odd man out. You fumble with your stuff as everyone situates into a small circle. Discussion time begins and someone takes the lead with authority and assertiveness. The two other individuals fall in line with the lead person and you just sit there, immobilized. Their knowledge and use of scripture is on point at every turn. Are they each in full time ministry, you wonder? Their spoken exchange is incredibly insightful and you are either mesmerized by their conversation or you have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
One thing is certain. You FEEL out of your league, intimidated and/or defeated. What just happened? Can you relate?
I have experienced skads of situations just like the one I described. At first my spirit and conjured poise shrank like a slug doused with salt. All that I previously believed about my life with Jesus, now seemed inferior, inadequate, less than. In HIS loving way the precious Spirit of GOD Himself spoke swiftly into my heart. . .
No Karan my child, you are NOT inferior in the least. You are running in the Great Race. Each of My children through the ages are in this same great race and I AM waiting at the finish line. But this race is not a sprint, nor is it a marathon but a relay. As in a relay, each of you begins at a different point and then hand off the baton to someone else when your leg of the race is completed.
The stretch you are running today is merely one the others you met today have not yet encountered. Things you have already learned in your relationship with Me, they have yet to learn and vice versa. Each of you have your own custom course that I have designed specifically for you and only you. There is no room for envy, jealousy, comparison or self- deprecation among My children. You are a team working together throughout the ages to shine among the nations as you cross the finish line in glory. Look to ME and just run where I have placed you, my precious child.
“This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—- God’s applause!” The Apostle Paul’s words in a letter to Timothy in II Timothy 4:7&8 The Message Bible
Every now and then I am tempted to struggle with that same inferior feeling or unconsciously compare myself with fellow teammates. When I come to my senses by His gentle reminders I recall my Father’s precious words spoken directly into my heart. I CHOOSE to believe HIM instead of my wavering feelings. HIS divine truth echoes in my mind; ” . . . let us strip off every weight (like entertaining deceptive feelings of inferiority) that slows us down, especially the sin (like my fear and/or pride) that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race GOD has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus. . . ” Hebrews 12:1b-2a New Living translation Bible
So I prepare myself mentally to take my place, physically adjust my speed and spiritually depend on HIM to empower my running. FLURISHING as I spring forward for the TEAM and so can you!!!