“What do I fear?
I fear stagnation and lack of progress. I fear never reaching my potential and being average. I fear being forgotten…the past…yesterday’s news. I fear giving up and being passed by, going softly into that good night. I fear letting those I love down, letting myself down. I fear settling, giving in to the “that’s just the way it is” mindset. I fear dying without leaving a mark. I fear not feeling these fears anymore and just floating along.”
I remember being at a point in life where I felt like I was mark timing. I literally could not wait for my life to finally pick up and get going. I remember thinking to myself; I’m this old, still in medical school, still dependent on my mother for financial support, still have nothing to my name. I was feeling like my life was the same old: school, home, repeat, weekend, repeat. Mark. Timing.
So I told myself, “Get a job! That will sort things out” Sigh…If you live on this side of the globe, you know that securing a job with a degree is not even a guarantee, the job market is very competitive and there’s always someone one step ahead of you for that same position. A few facts about my country: More than 500,000 young graduates join the market every year and only 50,000 succeed in getting employment. 7 out of every 10 unemployed people in my country are between 18-35 years.There are so many people with degrees and diplomas who have been job hunting for years. So, if getting a job with papers was that tough, how much harder do you think it was for me without a degree or a diploma? As difficult as a blind man trying to describe color, that much I will tell you.
Unlike western societies where opportunities to earn something small avail themselves from the age of around 16, here, you could be a good 28+ and have never secured formal employment. I’m not trying to demean anyone, I am just saying that it’s hard out here yo!
But why was this so important to me? Why did I terribly crave this? Truth be told, I was placing myself in constant comparison with people slightly ahead of me. There were people I finished high school with who were engaged, or married. There were those who had had a few babies.There were those who had secured international jobs.There were those who had started businesses, social organizations, movements that were having such big impacts.I even had a friend who at twenty, was building her own house. True story. Though she lives somewhere in the West so I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. The list is endless, trust me. I was still carrying those big books around that same old med school. Feeling like I had been stuck in the same chapter of my life for too long!
I’m not complaining. Please don’t get me wrong. I truly feel blessed beyond measure. I truly am thankful for the far the Lord has brought me. But on the real people, sometimes peer pressure can get too real! Does anyone feel me?
Or I’m I alone on this one?
COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY. What starts out as seemingly harmless subconscious likening of other people’s lives to yours, can turn out into a source of severe depression and can give rise to an attitude of ungratefulness.
What I had forgotten is that the Bible urges us in Philippians 4:6 not to be anxious about anything, instead to take it to the Lord in prayer. Jeremiah 29:11 encourages us that God has plans to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. Psalms 23 reminds us that the Lord is our shepherd. He will guide us and lead us to the path that is for us if we trust Him and let Him.
We all have our unique paths in life. Although our paths may collide with other people’s paths briefly in various seasons, we must remember to forget to compare ourselves with anyone who crosses our path. God made you for a purpose that is uniquely yours.
The trick is to fix your eyes on Him and trust that He will lead you right where He wants you to be. Best believe that you will never achieve your milestones at the same time as the next person but that shouldn’t worry you because He’s got you. Peace be still. Pleeeaaase be still.
If you spend all your time worrying about what “he” has and what “she” is doing, who’ll worry about you? It’s time to stop and focus on you. Build you. Grow you. Love on you. Add value to you. Discover new and exciting things about you, and that you love to do. Do that thing…you know that thing you’ve always wanted to do..do that. Take risks. Challenge yourself to be more, love more, do more. Most importantly, with your head held high, strut confidently in your own unique path, trusting that the one who holds you won’t let you fall by the wayside. It will all work out in its own timing. Breathe. Trust the process. Enjoy the process.
““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25-34 NIV