....a BIG one. Today is the last day of my Christmas Break. I've enjoyed it. But as I was picking up around the house a little and getting stuff ready for Monday, I was getting a little down on myself. I had a huge checklist for this past two weeks. Some work-related things, family things, fun things, and personal things. I didn't get to everything on the list and I was bashing myself for it, getting a little grouchy that everything wasn't perfect before I go back to work. I got on Facebook for a second and someone posted a picture that said "It doesn't matter how slow you go, just as long as you don't stop." Ergo, the epiphany. And I was initially dumbfounded that I'd never heard this before. Life has always been a race and competition for me - even if I'm just racing against the clock or against myself. I tend to respond to everything in life with words. Here's what just came pouring into my mind. It's taken me 52 years to understand that we weren't meant to do it "all" in one day, one year, or one lifetime. And that's OK. Just don't stop doing what we can, what we love, what we should, and what the Lord requires of us. The pace, the unrealistic human fulfillment "checklist", nor the elusive first place blue ribbon mean anything in the scheme of things. The only thing that matters is did we persevere - did we KEEP ON MOVING in the right direction. There ARE competitive things about life sometimes and that can be fun, fulfilling, and empowering - but life as a whole and in it's true essence is not a competition. We need to stop making the meaning of life a futile reach for outdoing everyone else. There IS a life's race to be won - but the race is one of perseverance, not an accumulation of laurel wreaths for our heads. Let's stop asking ourselves if our families, children, accomplishments, intellect, human worth, cars, houses, clothes, lifestyles, bank accounts, bodies, viewpoints, and opinions are superior to others. Let's stop making these things the measuring rod of our existence. Let's stop playing King of the Mountain. That's a child's game. Let's ask ourselves instead - did we accomplish our goals. If not, did we make significant progress. If we didn't make significant progress, the rest of the world won't really care because they are too busy worrying that you and I are measuring THEIR progress. But if significant progress was not made - let's ask what can we do DIFFERENTLY - what other trail than the impotent one we've taken can we run down to find the goal. Let's strive for perseverance, not perfection. And let's live each day to it's fullest, not our fantasy of what it should be.