Leaving town last week, I spotted a large orange sign that read, “Stay in your lane.” I snickered. What an obvious direction. Of course I was going to stay in my lane.
At different times throughout the week, those words ran through my mind. It’s been a long few days in our neck of the woods. Along with the normal busyness of life, my husband had surgery Friday. Between nerves, emotions, and unrealistic fears I was pretty tired by the time we made it to surgery day. So many times I wondered why. So many times I feared the worst. So many times I wished it wasn’t really happening. I just wanted out of my lane.
No wonder that sign stood out to me! The phrase that seemed so obvious earlier in the week now stood out like a flashing beacon reminding me to stay in the race. But what I wouldn’t give to get in someone else’s lane! Sometimes the race that we are called to run isn’t easy. The obstacles and challenges are overwhelming and the lane we are assigned to is hard to navigate. Staying focused and in the race often seems impossible and the other lanes around seem more appealing.
No matter what, though, I have to stay in my lane. The other lanes might seem smoother or wider. Maybe they have fewer obstacles or challenges. But just as soon as I try to move over, I may crash headlong into another vehicle, swerve into a ditch, or hydroplane into a cornfield. I am not equipped to drive in someone else’s lane. I’m not designed to drive in someone else’s race.
Looking back over our leg of the race this week, even though it was hard, I realize how blessed we are. All week long God has sent us cheerleaders to help us stay focused and in the race. Whether it was through phone calls, visits, or texts, we received more encouragement and love than I ever thought possible. My phone was blowing Friday with people sending prayers and checking in. Even though this part of the race was hard, we had more than what we needed to make it through to the next leg of the journey.
Maybe the race you are in is hard. Maybe it is unfair or frustrating. Or maybe this is the best season you have had in a while. No matter what leg of the race you are in, stay in your lane. No one else can live the life you have been given. No one else can stay in the lane of the race that you are in. Keep your eyes on the prize and realize that you aren’t in this race alone. If you keep your eyes focused in the right direction, you will have everyone and everything you need at just the right time to navigate all of the turns, bumps, and obstacles. Don’t lose heart. Don’t wish away this season. Just stay in your lane.