Having been in cheerleading and dance since I was 5 years old, I had a moment after school one day, and decided I would randomly try out for volleyball. My parents had always told me, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” I went into my first day of tryouts looking forward to trying something new. I was wearing my cheerleading clothes, not even noticing I didn't look like everyone else. I had one of the volleyball coaches give me a mini one on one training session at the volleyball tryouts.
Feeling honored, I thought I was just that good, and they wanted to see my skills first hand. The next day I started to realize that the other girls were wearing spandex shorts, special knee pads, and shoes. I was still in me soffee shorts with a bow in my hair. I thought it was odd. The coach didn’t seem to show me any attention that day. Thinking they had already seen all my talent, I wasn’t worried. The next morning I arrived early to school to see the list of those who made the volleyball team on the outside of the gym doors. I ran up to the list, and I was astounded when I realized that my name was in fact not on the list. How could they not want me on the team? An upset Caroline called her mom. I mustered up the courage to tough it out at school.
As time marched on, I realized that I just was not in my lane.
Within the next year, I was not only doing cheerleading but also had an extended toe-touch where your feet go above your hands while you are in the air. I was helping younger girls on my squad. I was excelling. Many years later, I was voted “Most Encouraging” by my class.
Not making volleyball was one of the best things that could of happened to me. It pushed me on toward the lane that I belonged in, not just for middle school or high school but even for life. I am an encouraging person. Now, I just encourage people toward Jesus, not the goal or the point.
It is easy sometimes to get sidetracked and want to do what others are doing. Sometimes I will be jamming out in my car to worship music and think that I wish I was a worship leader. The truth is, and vocalists don’t challenge me please, that I am not gifted in the area of singing. It would not be for the furthering of the Kingdom if I did that. My singing would prohibit Kingdom work. That is not in my lane.
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, it talks about how parts of a physical body can not be at odds with each other and still work properly. The body has to know that each piece plays a part. We need our eyes to see what is coming, discern, have life to what we hear and smell. We need our feet to get us from place to place. We need our ears to hear people's words, horn's honk, and dog's bark.
When a part of your body is not working, the rest of the body helps pick up the slack. The rest of the body can feel and is keenly aware of the fact there is pain. I hurt my heel recently. It altered my thoughts on what to wear so that my shoes would match and be comfortable. My pain altered how I walked, sat, and stood.
In the same way, we need to quit wishing we were a different piece of the puzzle in life. We need to figure out what our part is, our lane, and own it. Then appreciate those running in the other lanes because we all play a part to make a whole great big picture of God at work in us and the world.
Caroline Hare is the Next Generations Pastor at Destin United Methodist Church. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.