2016 was truly special because of Michael Phelps. This was Phelps 5th Olympics. His very first Olympic competition was in 2000 and by 2008, he was being compared to Mark Spitz who was considered the greatest swimmer of all time. Phelps’s response to the comparison was incredible.
After saying he was honored to be compared to Spitz, Phelps said, “I don’t want to be the second Mark Spitz. I want to be the first Michael Phelps. I want to do something no one has ever done before.”
Wow. Just wow. I get emotional when I read that quote.
Partially because we now see eight years later that is exactly what Phelps has done, and we are so grateful he never settled for being another version of someone else.
And partially because I know how often I would settle for being the second someone else— sometimes anyone else.
Who do you compare yourself to and come up lacking?
The girl with the perfect figure, the mom whose kids are always well-behaved and well-dressed (okay, they don’t even have to be well dressed...fully dressed would do...not missing shoes or socks or my personal favorite, underwear)
The mom of five who homeschools, runs her own business volunteers for a local charity, and still has a home-cooked meal on the table (she has to have a deal with the devil right?)?
We spend so much time comparing that we never stop to think about who we really are and why we are here.
I was made to be the first Brooke Kireta, not the second someone else.
I was created to bring a piece of God’s glory and character to this earth that no one else can bring. I was made to do something no one else has ever done. And so were you. I think so few of us ever do it because we spend our time trying to redo something someone else has already done and then beating ourselves up because we don’t do it as well as they did.
If we could really grab hold of our true identity and live out of it, we would stop feeling so threatened by others and start celebrating their uniqueness. Because if I don’t have to do something better than you’ve done it—or even as well as you’ve done it— I can sit back and cheer you on in your victories and encourage you in your failures.
Because being who we were created to be and doing something no one has ever done before doesn’t mean we win every time, it doesn’t mean we are the best all the time, it doesn’t mean we are rich and famous or popular and well-known.
It is a place of confidence that we are living out of who we are and are doing what God put in us to do. As we do, we leave a legacy of hope and courage for those who come behind us and beside us.
Word of the Day:
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Jesus, let us be the first us that you’ve ever made. Help us to lay down striving and comparison and step into our true identity—to celebrate that we were created to do something no one else has done or will ever do. Let us never settle for being another version of someone else. Let us be encouragers. Let us build up and not tear down. Let us know that someone else does not have to lose for us to take our place— our place in You is secure. There is always more than enough room in a family. So let us truly belong to the family of God as we love ourselves and one another well.
Author: Brooke Kireta