When I was in college, I attended a large student conference in North Carolina. One day, as I was waiting for my friends, an older woman struck up a conversation with me. She asked me if I was enjoying the conference. For some reason, I told her I was really disappointed because I hadn’t been selected to sing the solo with the choir for that evening’s worship service.
She replied, “If the foot should say, ‘Because I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,’ in spite of that it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, ‘Because I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,’ in spite of this it still belongs to the body.” (1 Corinthians 12:15-16) Do you know why I stopped to talk with you?”
“No,” I replied.
“I wanted to tell you that each night when the choir sings, I watch you worship and it encourages me. You are unique and loved by God. He doesn’t want you comparing yourself to others. He wants you to rejoice in what He’s given you.”
I walked away encouraged.
That evening, I was surprised to see that very woman introduced as the keynote speaker. She walked to the podium, looked out at 1500 college students and said, “You are unique and loved by God.”
I noticed a girl on the front row wiping her eyes. She needed that message as much as I did.
We all spend so much time comparing ourselves with others that we forget that God loves us just as we are and made us that way on purpose.
So, before I go, let me remind you – You are unique and loved by God.
*Warren Wong Photo courtesy of Unsplash
Thurgood Marshall became a Supreme Court Justice in 1967. As the first African-American justice, he was attributed with the following quote: The measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in time of crisis.
Today, as I ponder his words, I have to wonder, “Do I retain my compassion in times of crisis?” No, I don’t. Instead, I often freak out and become completely self-centered?”
However, as Christians, we are called to live differently.
The Apostle Paul once wrote, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
We all struggle with selfishness. If we say we aren’t, we’re not being truthful. The truth is, we could all spend the rest of our lives learning how to clothe ourselves with compassion, not to mention kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Let’s get started.
Most days, it’s go, go, go. It’s moving on, pushing forward, forgetting what is behind, and pressing on to what is ahead. I get it. If you don’t look ahead, you live in the past.
But today, at this marker in my life, I look back, and realize how long the path has actually been. I see the wild, unusual trajectory of my life’s journey so far and think, “How did I end up here? It feels like I just got started.”
But I didn’t. I’ve actually been at this whole life thing for quite awhile.
A student once asked Billy Graham, “What’s the greatest surprise you have found about life?”
He answered, “The brevity of it.”
I agree with him. It has been short and it seems to be getting shorter by the year. When I look back, I see that I’ve come a long way, but all I can really think about is all the duties I still need to fulfill, all the people I still want to meet, and all of the journeys I still want to take.
But time is short.
If that’s the case, then I want to do what’s most important with the rest of my life.
Jesus once said, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”
So now, as I look back, it looks pretty good. But it sure is nice to know there’s more assignments and adventures ahead of me.
*Photo courtesy of Unsplash Mike Rawlings