I did it! I got through all seventy days in the book Whispers of Hope: Ten Weeks of Devotional Prayer. I’m pretty sure it took me closer to twenty weeks….but I did it! So, what did I do today? I turned back to day one and started all over again! Guess what, I didn’t remember a thing from day one — it was like a new experience. That’s the beauty of middle age.
The message of day one, or at least the message I got today, was that God is creative — He has made each of us exquisitely unique. We were not created to walk identical paths. We were each created for our own path. Isn’t that amazing? God created each of us for our own path and He alone “knows the plans” He has for us. That’s why we need to hear from Him every day, because He’s the only one who knows our unique needs — the only one who can give us specific made-to-order direction.
So why have I spent so many minutes of my life checking with others, comparing myself to others, and judging others? I look at someone else’s path and I think to myself — well, that’s a different path than mine — it must be better or worse. Then, having passed judgment, I try to adapt my path to make it more, or less, like that other person’s path.
I know I’m not alone here. In fact, our society — schools, businesses, governments — exist to provide equality or sameness to the masses. They are trying to be fair, or to motivate us to purchase, or to create order. And, to be fair, I think we are bent toward wanting to be ‘just like everyone else’. We want to fit in, to blend, to belong.
However, all of our attempts at trying to be the same, blend in, and belong ultimately force us to deny our uniqueness. Now, we don’t seem to mind uniqueness if it comes in the form of exceptional athletic ability, extreme good looks, or undeniable wit. But what about uniqueness that creates physical challenge, an odd appearance, or cognitive difficulty? We seem to make concessions for ‘those’ people, don’t we? What about the kind of uniqueness that believes differently than we do, tackles problems in ways we haven’t thought of, or decides to go against the flow of the masses? Do we celebrate that?
Or do we ridicule it? If we are conservative, do we ridicule the liberals? If we are liberal, do we berate conservatives? If we went to college, do we judge those who went straight to work? If we choose simplicity, do we frown on those who treasure extravagance?
My, oh, my. I do believe we have a tangent (or two, or three) here, ladies and gentlemen. Let me get back to the point.
God created each of us uniquely. We are not the same. He has specific plans for each of us — “plans to prosper and not to harm” us. Sure, sometimes humans point us directly to the plans God has for us, but more often, we get distracted by looking at what others are doing. Sometimes so distracted, that we forget to check with the Creator himself. Who knows better what is best for us than He?
If you’ve read my blog for more than a day, you know that I don’t check with God first, I try to tackle everything myself. However, in this next chapter I am being challenged to turn from my old ways, to turn toward His Word, to consult with Him about my path. It’s a day-by-day challenge for me. That is why, kids, I am going to spend the next ten (or twenty) weeks continuing to develop my prayer life.
Once again, I need the bonus lesson.
You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I am fearfully, [uniquely], wonderfully made.