This coming week my younger son will be taking the test for his driver’s permit. Frankly I’m not ready to teach another child how to drive. I’m just getting used to my older son driving on his own! If you haven’t had the pleasure of teaching a fifteen-year-old how to drive, let me tell you: it’s an adventure. When Son #1 first started driving, it took practice to control the car, and countless times we had to remind him to “stay in his lane”. When you’ve been driving for almost thirty years, that seems easy, but to a new driver, it’s a skill that must be developed with practice.
Unfortunately, I’m still learning how to “stay in my lane” when it comes to other areas of my life, mainly physical fitness, writing, and keeping house. One click on Pinterest or a scroll through my Instagram feed can have me caught in the comparison trap. Seeing pictures of forty-something-year-old women who look like they’re twenty-five, writer friends signing contracts, and home interiors that look like they’re straight out of a magazine make me feel like I’ll never measure up. How many of us have felt “less-than” or envious when we view other peoples’ lives on social media?
I first heard the phrase “stay in your lane” last year when our teaching leader at Bible Study Fellowship told us not to dwell on what other people are doing. When we focus on others, we lose sight of our own journey. For example, if I continued comparing my fitness level with that of another woman with a different set of genes, I might never be satisfied with myself. But if I kept track of my own physical fitness, I could see that I’m actually improving over time.
The same goes for writing. I’m surrounded by author friends who are self-publishing multiple books a year, landing publishing contracts, or signing with agents. When envy starts to creep in, I must remind myself that God has a different plan for me. The hard part is not knowing what that plan is! All I can do is follow His lead as best I can and accept the path He has for me.
A Bible verse I like to keep handy is Ephesians 2:10:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I love the last part, “God prepared in advance for us to do.” Isn’t it comforting to know God has prepared each of us with a gift we can use for His Kingdom? Perhaps if we took our eyes off the person next to us, we can “stay in our lane” and start becoming who God intended us to be, (organized home or not).
As for next week, my goal is to give over my anxiety to God as my second son sits behind the wheel for the first time.
What else can I do?
What about you? Do you ever get caught in the comparison trap? How do you overcome it?
Update: My son has been driving for a little over a week now, and he’s doing great!