And the Winner is.....Contentment!
Rehearsal dinners can be an awkward thing for a single person. In September 2006, I walked into a beautiful room full of beautiful people and suddenly felt, well, less than beautiful. I sat down in the lone single chair at a table full of happy couples, all using the joyful occasion to reflect on their own courtships and marriages. Hhhmmm….what could I contribute to this conversation?
As I sat in silence, my insecurities began to get the best of me. After about an hour’s worth of misery, the time came for friends and family to stand up and say nice things about the bride and groom. I had nine years worth of wonderful memories from which to draw, but as each perfect person stood up with her perfect clothes and her perfect speech, my lack of perfection kept me clammed up. I left the dinner as soon as it was socially appropriate, got about two steps out the door, and promptly burst into angry, pitiful tears.
Have you ever compared yourself to another person and lost?
I’ve been on the other side, too. In my own estimation, I have several blue ribbons from my internal competitions with other women. My silent comparisons have led to either a swelling of my ego or a pervasive desire to try harder, shop more, and eat less.
From my conversations with other women, I don’t think I’m alone in this battle. What is it within that drives us to compare and compete? Why do we feel the need to use other people as a measuring stick for our own value? And what is the alternative?
Like many forms of bondage, unhealthy comparison is rooted in disbelief. We doubt the character of God and His great love for His children. We question the truth that He has given each person a unique set of strengths and weaknesses, a unique position in the world, and a unique journey.
One of my favorite professors has often said, “If God calls you to be a farmer, why would you stoop to be a king?” When we are secure in the love of God and His unique wiring of us, contentment becomes our close companion. We are satisfied with our status and our situation. We are free to pursue risks without fear, celebrate the beauty we see in others, and utilize our God-given abilities to the fullest. In essence, we have nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Today, I choose contentment over comparison. Will you join me?