What is our life here on earth all about? I’m just one person – how will I ever be significant enough to make a difference? As a blended family mom, will I ever have a profound impact on my step children? When we stop and think about these questions, we usually end up deciding that our lives will never matter enough; our impact will never be big enough, and in fact, we will never be enough.
I recently attended a Women of Faith conference in Oklahoma City, and rediscovered that our lives are so vital to the future. We have no idea how our words and actions will impact those around us – make differences. At the conference I bought Christine Caine’s book, “Unstoppable.” The first part of her book is about the Olympic 4 x 100 relay race and how our lives can be compared much to a race. In fact, we are in a race – a relay race in life. A relay race is where a runner is responsible for running a segment of the race and they carry a baton along their segment. At the end of the segment, they are to pass on the baton to the next runner so that they can carry on towards the finish line. The baton you have been handed represents the past – leading up to your life. parents, grandparents, where you were raised and how you were raised.
Now it’s your turn to run your segment of the race. What kind of difference will your life make to the next runner? Your children, step children, grandkids … and on.
I think the apostle Paul may have been an athlete – he talks about his own race in Philippians 3:12-14. He says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”
So let’s look at your life. I don’t know what you have been given to run with – that baton can signify some wonderful things that have shaped you in the past, or some horrific things that you have survived … but we need to make some decisions about what our life will pass on to others … the baton we hand off to the next runner.
As a wife – I want the next generation to know that I loved my husband and was faithful and loyal. I want them to know I didn’t quit on that marriage but was determined to stop the cycle of divorce that was in Dan’s past – for his children to see. I want them to see that I not only had a good marriage – but an extraordinary one. I want them to see the commitment and communication and servanthood that it takes to have that.
As a mom – I want the next runners to know love and nurturing and that I loved enough to correct and confront.
As a woman – I want the next runners to know that I was a woman of my word – and I had a heart to go after what I believed God had gifted me in.
You’ve got the baton – you are running the segment of the race of your life. What are you going to pass on to the future?
As a stepmom, you have tremendous potential to make a difference in your step children’s lives. It may not be recognized at this time – but it will impact them. Love their father. Show respect to him and serve him. Make time to for your new kiddos – engage with them and do your best to step inside their world by doing things they like to do. Show your loyalty and commitment to this new family. Be an example of working out difficulties – not running from them. Pass that baton on confidence that you ran your part of the race to the best of your ability – you didn’t give up … you didn’t lose heart … you ran the best race of your life!