"Lt. Dan! Ice cream!"

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For the final day of our “back-to-school” series, I would love for us to think about who we are and take it back once again to the box of crayons. A blue crayon cannot color red, nor can a red crayon color blue. The same is true of each our lives and our Christian walks. Our races are all different and not meant to be someone else’s race to run. God gives us each unique circumstances, gifts, talents and situations to embrace and live this life and the things He has called us. The enemy wants us to constantly compare our race to others and point out our feelings of inadequacy. We should encourage one another and, at times, help others along in their races when they feel beaten down and discouraged.

Often the Lord puts others in our lives for us to encourage and help in their races. There are those running the race of life that just get their legs knocked completely out from under them. Sometimes runners just need a pep talk over the finish line or guidance in the direction they are to run. We weren’t meant to do this life alone. He created us to need one another. One of the most rewarding experiences of my Christian walk is pouring into younger women and at the same time having older women pour into me. We all have someone that is looking up to us or reaching out a hand to hold and help guide in the race of life. For many of us it may be the children that God has given us and I believe this is our first and highest calling for mentoring and discipleship. These precious souls that the Lord has given to us deserve our very best and priority should be given to them over others. However, the Lord brings others into our seasons of life that He wants us to invest in and speak His truth in love. It may be a teenager that is struggling with their identity, a young college student seeking answers and trying to figure out their future, a young parent struggling in the new role of parenthood, a single parent that has just found themselves with the overwhelming task of parenting alone, or often it may just be someone that is looking for guidance and needs a friend.

Look at those in the race of life around you. Are there those that may need you or that you may need? Reach out, offer a hand and let the Lord use you to encourage, love, speak truth and be a friend and listening ear.

We waste a lot of time looking at the races of others and not focusing on our race and the things that the Father calls each one of us to do. At times we become so consumed with the race of those around us that we lose who we were created to be and miss divine appointments that the Lord may place in our paths daily. Satan wants to distract us in our races to look at others and to compare instead of care and to contrast instead of connect.

Our races are for us to run and we should not spend our days looking across the lane at someone else’s race and missing what is ahead in our own lane. At the same time, don’t get so focused on ourselves that we miss the opportunity of reaching a hand to a brother or sister that needs to be picked up and brushed off to run again. Be the color God created you to be and run your race!!

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Meredith is wife to Bryan, mama to Carson, Elijah, Luke, Kaylyn and Joel. She has served alongside her husband Bryan (who is the College and Missions Pastor) here at the River for 16 years. She also works at the Cookeville Pregnancy Center as a nurse and loves ministering to women and their unborn babies. She enjoys pouring into young women, camping and being outdoors with her family, cooking, reading a good book (whenever she has time) and bird watching from her kitchen window.

River Community Church