My entire life, I've never felt that I was number one at anything. I was the third boy in my family. In school, although I was tall, I was never the tallest. Even though I'm strong, I was never the strongest, and so it has gone.
I was a poor student until my senior year of high school. I tested into a bunch of AP classes and was not bored senseless for the first time in twelve years. I made straight A's that year. *On a side note my sister started high school the following year and spent three years hearing how wonderful a student I had been. The teachers conveniently forgot my less than stellar other two years. Sorry sis.*
So when I arrived at college, I was feeling pretty good about myself, standing in my very first registration line. I struck up a conversation with the fellow standing in front of me. And within five minutes I knew I wasn't going to be 'Mr Hot Stuff' at college. Steve was and is one of smartest guys I've ever met. And to add insult to injury, he's a really nice, decent fellow.
This all came home to me when I had breakfast with a friend of mine. When we met, we were both starting out as attorneys. Now he is a newly minted curate and I'm still an attorney, still working in the same dull field I started in.
And I'm content. Because when I first met my friend, some twenty years ago, I immediately thought he ought to be a priest. And I've known since I was eighteen that I have no call to be one. Being number two, or three, or fifteen, or what have you, has taught me the value of humility. I still have prideful moments. I still would love to shine in some way. But I do shine when I allow myself to see it. As my wife puts it, I am her favourite husband. And that means a great deal.
Most importantly, God knows me. He knows me and He still loves me. So, I'm a winner after all and always.