We are all lined up along the curved line waiting for the gun to sound. The gun goes off. We take off, jostling to get the best advantage. I am a sophomore in high school running the 1500 meter race. As I run the almost 4 laps, my job is to win, if possible, by keeping a fast pace. Not so fast so that I can't finish but not so slow that I don't give it my best shot. Looking back, the races I hated were not the races I lost but those where I crossed the finish line and thought I could have given more. I should have pushed a little harder. I had too much energy left. On the other hand, I loved the races that were close and I had nothing left at the end. I could truly say I did my best. It was nice bonus if I won or at least placed.
Relationships can be like this race. Sometimes we go at things too fast, forgetting to guard out heart. We have trouble making the next three laps since we have nothing left to give. I probably error on the other extreme of holding too much back and finishing the race wishing I had given more. In relationships, I am sometimes scared I will crash and burn so I make sure I won't by not fully engaging and not being vulnerable. Something is missing and it's me. Later I look back and wonder why I acted that way. I miss out on getting to know the other person but I also miss out on what God had for me to give and learn in the relationship. When I hold back, I am not allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me and use me in the other person's life. By not being open, I miss seeing how Jesus is working in the other person's life whether they are a believer or not. Thankfully, I think I am getting better at relationships with the help of friends who don't let me stay in my little bubble. They run up beside me and urge me to give it all and it will be okay. It also helps when I take off all the weights that are holding me down like insecurities, past bad experiences, and selfishness. Jesus made relationships a priority. He gave of himself to each person he met. May I follow his leading as I interact with those God puts in my path each day. I need to also realize that there are times in races and relationships where it is the right thing to hold back but that needs to be God's decision not mine.
Dear God, Thank you for the people you put in my life each day. May I give to them what you want me to give holding nothing back. May I follow your leading in each interaction. May you be glorified through the relationships of your people. Amen