I watched something extraordinary today as I attended my nephews’ high school cross country meet.

Sure, watching these boys run was incredible, and cheering them on was a whole lot of fun. Seeing them soar at something they enjoy was even better.

But, what touched me the most was standing at the finish line and hearing the words that came from these high school boys’ mouths. I heard nothing but encouragement extended to one another. I saw numerous pats on each other’s backs. And, I witnessed how compliments came after a few of exclaimed, “This was a PR (personal record) for me!” The kicker is, some of these came from members of opposing teams!

Encouragement. Compliments. Pats on the backs. From opposing teams. It was incredible. I thought to myself, this is what real life looks like. Yes, that is what real life looks like.

Life without competing against one another is real life.

Life without competing against one another is real life.

Oh, there was an entire 5K of competing, but instead of competing against each other, these young men were competing against themselves. They were competing against the clock. And, yes, there was a first, a second, a third (and so on) place finish, but that’s not what you heard about at the end of the race.

This inspired me so. Maybe because I desire my life to be like that. I desire our relationships to be like that. I desire our world to be like that. Where the only competing we do is with ourselves. To be better people than we were yesterday. For our faith to be bigger than it was yesterday. For our lives to impact more than they did yesterday.

If life is a competition, may it only be with ourselves.

And may we cheer each other on in the race. May we pat each other on the back. And may we always be about encouraging one another as we travel together.

Ah, what a difference we can make in this world as we live out our real lives!

Much love,



It’s Day 12 of 31 Days of Living A Real Life. Thanks for journeying with me! You can read the prior posts in this series here.

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