Monday, July 9, 2012

Average


"The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting above average effort."


Maybe it's all the coverage of the Olympics that I've been watching. Maybe it's all the blogs I've been reading about the Spartan Death Race. Whatever it is that has stirred up this feeling in me, I'm grateful for it. I am tired of being average. As I was running a 5k this morning, my thoughts continued to waver between the nearly overwhelming desire to slow down and the craving for a PR. In order to pry my mind away from my body's screams to slow, I began thinking of those Olympians and the amount of suffering they embrace to achieve the level of eliteness that they have fought for. Please. I know that I will never be an Olympic athlete. But I also know that it is that exact thought that has imprisoned me in the stagnancy of average.

If I am satisfied with my level of fitness (or my life in any area), what makes me want to become better at what I do? If I can put forth some effort and get some results, should I just settle? I see this in students all the time, and it drives me crazy! So many are satisfied to do very little work outside of class, barely (if at all) study, and as long as they don't get a D, they are satisfied with their grade. This satisfaction with mediocrity is completely frustrating.

I was discussing this with my running partner (God) this morning. Telling Him that I was tired with being stuck at average; asking Him if I'm crazy for thinking I can ever be better than average? Is that selfish? Egotistical? Absurd? He seemed to reassure me that I'm on the right track. He made us all to have a deep craving for more (evidence is found in the astounding number of addictions that exist-- we try to feed that craving in unhealthy ways). He created us with a longing for greatness. Greatness can be found within all of us. However, my greatness lies not in who I am or what I have done, but in who He is and what He does through me.

One of my favorite Bible passages reminds us of this: "For God, who said, 'Let there be light in the darkness,' has made His light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have His light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves." 2 Corinthians 4:6-7.

So, how do we overcome average? How do we move beyond the idea that "I'm getting older and therefore slower, so I'll just accept it"? We set a goal and train like crazy. 

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