Outrun By A Lady With Curlers In Her Hair!

(Before you leave, check out the articles in English from Victoire magazine. Click on it on the menu bar above)
I’ve started working out at the community center in the town where I live. They’ve got a nice oval walking track on the second floor that looks down on a couple of basketball courts.

I’m not the only one who likes to walk in the early morning and I’ve usually got quite a bit of company. My fellow walkers are a source of joy and frustration to me.

It must be said that most of them aren’t really young and there are a lot of middle-aged ladies, round ladies, ladies carrying purses in addition to old fellows who kind look a bit like they are walking in deep water as they trudge around the track. I think some of them must be recovering from heart attacks or knee-replacement surgery.

These are the source of my joy.

You should see me walking, like a Ferrari at the Daytona 500, lapping those hopeless slowpokes. (I seem sufficiently humble when I’m passing them, though in my heart I’m struggling with pride: “Hey, hey, hey! Eat my dust!”)

One day though, there were two younger ladies there, less than half my age. Both passed me and one of them kicked in the afterburners and lapped me! No! Lapped by a girl. The shame of it all.

And there are the joggers. I don’t pay any attention of them. I figure if I jog I’ll destroy my joints so I just let them go.


But one day there was this lady–she looked like she was well into her 40s–she passed me. And folks, she had curlers in her hair! Passed by a lady with curlers in her hair. It took me awhile to get over that one.

I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s better not to compare myself with other people as I walk. If some are slower than me there’s always a gunslinger who is faster than me. But, we do like to compare don’t we? Especially if it’s something we’re good at.

We even do it in the spiritual realm. We figure we’re more spiritual because we read the Bible fifteen minutes longer than the others in our church, or we pray 12.3 minutes longer than the national daily Christian average. We give more, or our church worship team could be in the finals of American idol. Our pastor has more hair and our church is even righter than the apostle Paul.

Then one day, I find someone who’s closer to God than me and I feel like I’m nothing. Comparison isn’t so smart, junior.

Paul talked about a bunch of strutters who like to compare themselves with others: “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.” (2 Cor. 10:11-13, NIV)

You know the best person to compare yourself to? The person that God created you to be. I can look at my neighbor and grin with satisfaction, “Hey, I’m doing pretty good compared to that fellow.” Then a Christian wearing curlers laps me and I want to quit.

I can only compare myself to the standard of Jesus-Christ and what he created me to be. How can I brag about lapping that short, wide-bodied lady? If I had inherited my Grandma Porter’s short, wide-bodied genes instead of the genes her long-legged brothers got, that squat lady at the gym might be lapping me. God’s not going to compare me to you in heaven. The standard is Jesus.

Actually, I’ve grown to appreciate the stocky, little woman. I’ve only talked to her to say ‘hello’ but I notice she’s there nearly every day that I am and she’s pushing it to the limit. She’s going to be pretty hard to pass soon.

I admire her courage, but, it she’s shows up in curlers, and passes me, I’m quitting.
Hummm …

It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them. –George Eliot

images: microsoft office

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