One of my favorite Christmas traditions is driving around with my husband, looking at Christmas lights around our area. One year, we found a house that was completely decked out - music playing, lights flashing EVERYWHERE - all over the house, all over their massive yard. We slowly crept by and could barely peel our eyes away! We look over to the house next door, where there was a dog standing, looking at the house - unflinching. He couldn't peel his eyes away either! We sat there for another five minutes or so as he slowly started inching towards the house, almost entranced 😂 Fast forward to about a week later, we were driving home from dinner with my mother-in-law and decided to take a detour to show her this crazy house. As we were driving by, we saw the SAME DOG starting intently at the lights - totally frozen by the epicness before him! Finally, his owner came out and pretty much had to drag him inside the house. It was the craziest thing!! What makes this story even crazier is that there was only one other house on that whole street that had Christmas lights up. It’s like everyone had decided that what their neighbor was doing was more than enough for the entire neighborhood!
It got me thinking of how often I’ve found myself staring at someone else’s “epicness,” distracted by someone else’s perceived success or awesomeness, totally neglecting the unique call that’s been placed on my life... wondering if it’s even worth trying at all. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours I’ve wasted stalking through Instagram accounts, Facebook profiles, and blog posts, believing the lie: “If only I could be like them. Then I’d be successful.” I spent so much time looking at their “lit up house” that I forgot to put up my own lights.
I think it’s safe to say that we've all gone through seasons of distraction, just like that dog, too. We can't peel our eyes off of what someone else is doing, and we become so entranced by their lives that we forget to live our own. We forget that our version of success might not look anything like that person’s… because we are literally a different person! We have different skills, different abilities, different goals and desires for our lives. When we take a closer look and think about what we would have to do (or give up) to get the life that that person has… we might not even want it.
The question I found myself pondering through all of this is this: what's keeping me distracted from living MY life and the call that’s been put on it? And what have I been afraid to do simply because I see someone else doing it “better” or “bigger?” If you’ve ever felt that way, my heart goes out to you, friend. Because it STINKS - big time.
But the beauty within the unknown is this: in Christ, there’s hope. There’s promise. There’s the reassurance that we have been prepared for what we have been called to. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” - Ephesians 2:10
What if the point wasn’t to do something bigger or better, but just to do it because we have been called and equipped? So, stop staring at your neighbor’s lights. Even better… go put up your own.