Each one of the children found a stick different from the next child to launch into the creek to play “The Stick Game”. We have played this game for years each child finds a stick and has to remember what it looks like then on the count of three they all throw their sticks into the water and run to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick came out the quickest. They toss their new found treasure into the current and just let it take a ride, watching it ever so carefully as well as keeping a close eye on the competition.
Often times in life we play “The Stick Game” without ever knowing it. We search and search until we find the perfect stick, our job, our house, our hobbies and we cultivate it so that we know it is ours. We make our house a home, our job becomes part of us, our hobbies are very unique to our personality. Then we go out into the world and throw it into the rushing water of the creek to see how we measure up. Who has a better home? Does his job pay more than mine? Am I a better cook, tennis player, runner or photographer than him? We run across the bridge anxious to see how we compare to others. Do we win or do they?
As I often say to the littlest boy I babysit “Not everything is a competition”.
Why do we as humans feel the need to compete? Do we really need to win to know that we are good enough? Do we really have to beat someone to feel better about whom we are as a person? Does making more money at a job make us a better person? Do we have to be the best at everything we do in this life or can we accept that others are better?
God gave each of us so many different and unique talents, gifts, life experiences and ways to love one another. God did not pit us against each other He wants us to love one another. God wants us to appreciate each other’s gifts and build each other up not tear each other down through petty competition.
So today, gather your sticks look at your unique gifts from God appreciate them go to the bridge and look at the sticks of others, how different they are from your own and point it out to others. Appreciate each other’s gifts and stop trying to win. This life is not a competition to be won but an opportunity to love and appreciate all that God has bestowed upon each one of us so graciously.