I was in the kitchen a few weeks ago when I caught the end of this new commercial for Panera:
Sometimes, what you think is the harder road, turns out to be the only one worth being on.
Last Wednesday I moved a bunch of luggage into a dorm room on campus. I went to the dining hall for dinner. I got my picture taken for an ID card. I went to the new Starbucks in the library and was asked by a current student if I was a prospective student visiting campus for the first time.
And I felt like maybe someone had pressed the rewind button on my life and forgot to tell me.
…God? Was that You? Are You pulling a fast one on me?
But you know what? He’s not. This isn’t a harder road, as per the insightful Panera commercial; this is just a different road than I expected to be on in this season of life, one in which my address is more of an idea than an actuality, as are my job descriptions.
The truth is that this season in Admissions is an opportunity I’ve wanted for a long time. I’ve always thought it would be really great to be able to go out and do another Admissions travel season without the year-round strings of being a full-time admissions counselor attached, and that’s exactly the opportunity I’ve received at just the right time. This job is a direct answer to prayer, meeting more of my needs than I can count. I have everything to be thankful for and nothing to regret.
But it’s still been easy for me to hit the panic button this week and believe what I hear in the questions people ask about my life now: What (the heck) are you doing?
I get it. I ask myself the same thing all the time! But really, when I take a step back and remember the why’s instead of the what’s, I know what I’m doing, and why. I’m taking the only road worth being on. It’s the one I wholly believe the Lord has set out before me.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.
I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.
Run to win, give it everything you’ve got, and pound the pavement on the only road worth taking, whatever road that might be for you. And don’t start looking for alternate routes just because it’s not the road you expected to be on. The best roads are usually the ones we weren’t looking for in the first place.