I haven't lit a candle in a long time. I realized that as I struck the match in my room tonight. I know that may sound strange - but it's even stranger for me to have gone so long without lighting one. I do love candles. Wicks, actually......and the purity of candlelight. There seems little more authentic than candlelight. After a candle is lit for a little while, it cannot be perfectly replicated. It is it's own. Each candle becomes one of a kind according to how the wick is burnt down, how the wax is carved out by the heat of the flame and the density of the air that it breathes. Little by little - as it burns - it becomes more unique. More extinct. More itself.
And I think......are we so different?
Having been out of the country for a little while, I seem to have become even more aware of the beauty of authenticity. To be real. To be truly who you were created to be - not striving to be like someone else. To cease the stance to prove oneself. Finding freedom in being real. As I was journaling on the plane ride back to the states, I found myself writing this, "I have to be honest and say I am not ready to return home. This place is authentic to the core - from the smell of the freshly baked bread that greeted me on my run this morning, to the fresh goat cheese for breakfast......from the food to the people - it is authentic. And in truth, I dread returning to the Land of Plastic a bit. Plastic cards to purchase those things we cannot afford, Plastic bodies to overcompensate for our insecurities, Plastic smiles to cover a multitude of sins....sins that we all have and are all afraid to admit. Having a place, a someone, or a group of someones to be REAL around is just as important to living well as is our basic needs for food and water. But do we know that?"
I often think we try so hard to be someone else that we never find who we are. We compare bodies and bank accounts, cars and clothes, accomplishments and attentions - we are so busy looking to what others are, or have, or are becoming - that our goal becomes to be more like them rather than more like Christ. It's a shame, really. God is a god of originals. He is simply much too vast to re-create. The children's thumbprints in Sudan were used to show them how unique they were. They were told that no one was like them in the universe. No one has ever - nor will ever - be like them.......Ever. EVER. PERIOD. To me, that is a pretty incredible thought. I would say that some of them had never seen their thumbprint. Many didn't even know they had one!
And I wonder.... are we so different?
Being unaware of our uniqueness and trying to cover it up by being someone else's thumbprint. Thinking we aren't "good enough." Good Enough for what? My mind wanders....What would happen if we were on a deserted island and had no measuring stick. No one to compare ourselves against to measure our worth. Would we feel worthy? Would we feel as if we were "the best" because there was no one to compare ourselves to? I think it would be fascinating, really. The freedom of only comparing yourself to the person you see in the mirror - the person that God created you to be - and to make attempts to be a better version of that person (with all its melted valleys and peaks, its breezed carved waves of endentions, its ebbs and flows that is like no other.....Ever. Period.). The Freedom to live without fearing the refection or lack of approval from man. Nothing to prove. Nothing to gain. Nothing to strive for - other than to be more of what God would want us to be (and he makes that pretty clear that it starts with loving Him, letting Him love us, and Loving others through that Love). Truly, that would have to keep us busy enough that we would have little time to even acknowledge a comparison to those around us : ) We would become so busy looking up to God - asking Him to show us how to become a better version of ourselves - that we forget about comparing ourself to others. That is Arrival.
You see, God is teaching me about birthrights. When he chose to create us - at that moment we became valuable. Not because we were worthy - or because we are enough - or even remotely adequate. We aren't and never will be and that is (simply put) the whole point : ) BUT we became valuable at that moment because He saw us as treasured. We - YOU - are treasured. For no other reason than you were created by the fingertips of a mighty God and you now have the freedom to come into the best version of yourself simply by finding yourself, more unique, more extinct, more you. To strive to be anything more or less than that by comparing ourselves to others would actually be like looking at a piece of art that God so proudly created with its own quirks and wrinkles to say, "Well, it's ok, Creator of the Universe, but I wish it looked more like that one." What a shame. Insecurity is born out of a bondage to an void. A feeling that we should be more or different or less or alike. Instead of just coming into the full circle of ourselves, accepting our birthright of value, and walking ahead to live that out for the one who blessed us with that birthright upon conception.
Lord - I pray that we find that. That we are able to blind ourselves to others for a moment. Standing in front of the mirror and comparing ourselves only TO ourselves. Show our spirits the changes that need to be made between you and us - as we are your creation. Your art. And you are the Creator. May we evolve for you. Embracing and loving our originality as your fingerprints instead of fighting against it. Finding the freedom to make those changes we need to make - for no other reason than to become more like you. In doing that......well, there aren't a whole lot bases we won't be covering.
Thrilled and Honored to be Your Unique Creation
(and the world thanks you that you made only one : ) Whew!
I am......Yours, b