Good morning!

It’s a beautiful morning here in London, not too hot or not too cold, just perfect!

My birthday was great, I spent the day in prayer and went to confession to receive birthday graces from Jesus. I enjoyed dinner with friends at the church and was absolutely delighted with myself that I celebrated it my way rather than the way of the world!!

Today’s topic is on comparing! Do you ever compare yourself with others? With the people who were in school with you, with your colleagues at work, with your fellow priests?

If you do then you’re human, if you don’t then either you are a saint or are lying!!

Yet comparing can be very dangerous for us spiritually as it often involves us putting ourselves down or putting others down.

When I was a kid I loved watching the olympics. I really liked watching the sprints. The 400 metre sprint puzzled me! Why did some people start ahead of the others? It didn’t seem fair!

Of course there is no difference. Some seem to start ahead but due to the curve of the track they have the same distance to run as the people at the back!

Yet when you watch the race, it is only at the end that you can see who is ahead of who and often you’ll see that guy or girl near the end bombing ahead and winning the race!

The one thing required for this race is a good psychology and certainly no comparing!

If the guy at the end looks up and says “I’m miles behind” he might get discouraged and just give up! Similarly if the guy at the front says “look at me, nobody even near me” he may get complacent and end up last!

I often think that life is the same. We may feel that we are starting at the back. We may have health problems that others don’t have, our education may not be as good, we may be less intelligent or whatever and as we see those successful people racing ahead in life out the front, we may get discouraged!

But this is not the way to live life!

1. You may have setbacks that others don’t but some of these setbacks can become ‘setups’ and teach you real life lessons very early!

2. Others who seem to have the perfect lives will experience setbacks too! Look at the lives of the celebreties and how so often they crumble apart!

And so what’s the answer?

We must enter into the mindset of one of these runners for a minute! Just as the runner trains himself to focus on his own race and to neither looking ahead or behind, so too must we train ourselves to run the race of our own lives looking up only to God for encouragement!

So today, don’t compare yourself to others or live life to somehow beat others but rather look to God, run the best race you can and you may be very surprised at the end of the race of life to do far far better than you had ever imagined!

So let’s stay focused on Jesus, stay focused on prayer and let us neither get discouraged or complacent but wake up every day giving it our best shot!

Blessings to all

Mike

P.S. Pray for Toni today who turns 23 on this beautiful feast of Our Lady!