Defined by God

1 Jun

I had a rough weekend. I was at a timing event on Saturday and the whole morning of setup went really well. When the race started, I felt really good about how things were going. Then athletes started crossing the finish line and I realized we were missing quite a few of their chips. But there was no time to fix it. We were also having problems with the PA system and the announcer function (which we almost always have problems with).

Amazingly, though, Megan and I made it through and I recovered most of the athletes’ finish times using our manual backup system. We packed up the car and got on the road back to Denver.

I got my computer out in the car to work on posting the results. When I opened the results file, though, I was shocked. The results were absolutely horrible. We were missing splits left and right. Something had happened with the timing equipment at the transition area. What was I going to do?

After talking to my boss, Brent, I spent the rest of the 8-hour car ride home fixing the splits that I could. Then I spent another 3.5 hours on Sunday morning. After finally getting the results posted, I braced myself for all of the scathing emails I would receive from athletes.

I still got those but I also got one from the race director (he had actually sent it to Brent, who forwarded it to me with no comment). The race director was very unhappy – with how the PA system had worked, how the announcer function had worked (or more, had NOT worked), and most of all, with the lack of splits. He told Brent that he felt like he was paying for second stringers and that the timing team at his race seemed very inexperienced. But the email wasn’t in a mean tone and I really can’t blame Greg for being frustrated at the situation. All of the stuff he mentioned happened and I could only do my best with the situation.

But I’d be lying if I said that his comments didn’t bother me. No one likes to hear that someone is disappointed and dissatisfied with their performance. I have definitely looked at, thought out, and analyzed this past race from every possible angle. In hindsight (which is always 20/20), there are a few things I should have done differently. And as I’ve learned over the past 3 months, in this business, little mistakes can cost you big. They did for me on Saturday.

As I got in the word this morning, I was reminded of Bethlehem Baptist Church’s mantra: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. In the midst of this tough work situation, where my reputation and work performance have clearly been questioned, I can be most satisfied in God by remembering that I am valuable and precious because God says I am. I don’t have to look to this world for validation and I am not defined by what I do wrong – or right. I am defined by Who died for me and what He says about me.

Because of God’s grace, I feel very blessed right now to have the Christian community and loving husband I do. I will make it through this and I will have learned and grown as a result. Trial by fire.

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