I saw a quote recently that read: "Why do racehorses wear blinders? So they focus on their own race. We should learn to do the same."

The horse person in me wanted to say that there could be a myriad of reasons for putting blinkers on a horse, but essentially, that is correct. It is to keep the horse focused on what is in front of them. That quote resonated with me. We need to learn to focus on our own selves and our own lives and cut out comparison.

Galatians 6:4-5 says, "Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load."

Let each person examine his own work. That is, focus only on what you are doing. Go about your work, or your choices, or your life living up to only your standards (or the standards that were set for you by work, etc.). Don't focus on what your coworker is doing at work or what your friend is doing with his or her life. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. When you focus on your own goals and avoid getting caught up in competition, you can be proud of yourself because you know that you did it for you- not for anyone else. You worked hard to become president of a club because that's what fit your goals, not because it's what your best friend did and you need to be able to compare to her. You went a different route with your major because the career path you were heading down wasn't going to allow you to build the life you wanted and you didn't care what your classmates thought about it. Achieve what YOU want to achieve and what will propel YOU forward. Don't do something because everyone else is doing it. Don't seek the approval of your peers or competitors. As a servant of Christ, seek only the approval of the Lord.

For each person will have to carry his own load. When it comes down to it, you will have to answer for your own choices. When those friends drift away and you are on a path you don't want to be on, how do you explain that you are there because you followed the crowd? Because you had to keep up with the newest trends. Because you got distracted with what everyone else was doing and didn't finish your own race.

The shadows are distracting. The others around you will get you sidetracked. The spectators will scare you. Look forward. Stay your path. Put your blinders on. Your race is the one that matters. Your choices will define your life. Dig in and give your all to the goals you have set. Out of the gate it may look like someone else is so much further ahead, so much faster and stronger. But maybe they weren't conditioned the same. Maybe they were trained with short bursts of speed, whereas you were trained with long gallops to build stamina. Resist wanting to speed up and challenge them now. Let your race play out and do what you do best. Stick to the plan because it all works out in the end.

"Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2

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