The banter was friendly yet competitive. Who would be the best? How could anyone judge? Was there going to be a clear winner? As the intensity began to rise, I realized that I was not in the fray. It was a strange feeling! Even more surprising was the awareness that I did not mind. I was not going to be the best at their competition. I knew it. The reflection was a blissful moment of peace.
I am, by nature, competitive. I hate losing! I love competing. Even when I lose, as long as I put everything I had into it, I enjoy the process. I find the intensity and pushing one’s self to the limits brings out the best within. I enjoy the push to be better, faster, and more effective. There are no limits! Bring it on. Prepare to lose.
At times, my competitive nature has overwhelmed my judgment. Being competitive trumped rationale thought. Even basketball games with eight year olds, croquet with young teenagers, or making the biggest splash became contests. I had the credentials. I had the experience. I could compete.
As the banter grew, I found myself deep in reflection. Even as I was comfortable with my role as an observer, I could hear the argument unfolding in my head. It was a parody of an old conversation. “I objected: ‘Who has better credentials? They all know how obsessed I was with hunting out those who believed in you, beating them up in the meeting places and throwing them in jail.’” (Acts 22.19) I have the credentials. I know I can compete. I am as good as anyone here.
I could hear the discussion and yet there were questions that I dare not ask. “Was I called? Is the timing right? What were/are my priorities?”
Life is more than winning and being chosen. I am discovering that Life is about being intentional to our purpose. For me this means, listening instead of talking, watching instead of competing, and serving instead of being served. It is a discovery that comes with peace.