Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Paper by ACHUCKAllen
Seventh grade is an awkward, weirded out age man. I mean, your hormones are going crazy, girls are totally overwhelming – especially Kim Rice. O my stars. As much as a seventh-grade boy could be in love…I had fallen head over heels in love.
I was so madly, crazy in puppy love that I didn’t pay a great deal of attention in Algebra I. The good news was that Kim Rice was not only drop-dead, surfer-chick, blonde, sort of cute, she was brilliant as well. At least I thought so.
I was far too busy trying to impress her with my self-appointed stellar wit to prepare for my finals. Besides, I was playing ball. I was never going to need this algebra stuff as a Major League pitcher, would I? For some reason, our teacher couldn’t have cared less about baseball, or the reality that the universe was clearly pulling for Kim to fall for me.
And, the tests began. About ten minutes in, I started gazing over at this bell-bottom blue-jeans kinda gal — and her answers. Then it happened. I was busted. I heard the words from our teacher as he said, “Allen! Get your eyes on your own paper!” And then the hammer came down, as Kim actually started covering up her paper.
Yikes! Busted by the teacher, and by this angelic creature that had no idea what I thought of her. For whatever reason, this stung my fragile Seabreeze Junior High School ego. It stung enough to move on in my head and my heart.
I was preparing to speak to a group of students some time ago and remembered that true story. I shared all of the particulars with them and completed my thoughts with the following two statements that helped shape my adult life.
- Keep your eyes on your own paper meant that I was to run my race. It was time to move beyond puppy love and carve out my own journey. We live in a world full of folks that always want to chase after someone else’s dream. To run someone else’s race. But we were not created to run someone else’s race. We were uniquely and wonderfully created to run the race the Divine has set before each of use. It is keeping your head, your heart, and your hands striving toward all that God has placed in front you — with all of our might!
- Don’t allow “puppy love” distractions to captivate your dreams. Don’t settle for something that was designed for another runner. Keep your eye on the ball, your pedal to the metal and any other mixed metaphors necessary to get out of the cheap seats, onto the field and compete at your highest level – fighting for your God-given dreams. Don’t get lost in the weeds when you were created to play in the fairway.
I know the story is a foolish look back at a silly, awkward season in a kid’s life, but I learned those lessons. The question is, have you? Drop the comparisons of others. Lose the childish distractions, and get in your race. Then run as hard and as fast as you can! The Divine made no mistake when He carved your path out for you to run. On this Monday, run! Run with all your might!
You just might find out that there is a radically better future than you ever imagined in store for you!
RUN FRIEND – RUN!