I’ve had one rambling thought since the New Year. So I’m going to attempt to process it through writing. Maybe it’s just a word I need to believe but maybe someone else in the blog world needs to hear it also.
Consider this recipe.
To a large bowl called life, thoughtfully add:
Your family background and dynamics – absent parent or helicopter parent, siblings, birth order, the way you were disciplined, marriage (and everything that includes), etc
Your educational experiences – relationships with teachers and peers, training, extracurricular activities
Your talents and interests
Your job experience
Your thoughts about who God is
Your financial situations throughout life
Your mountaintop experiences as well as your valley experiences
Your strengths and weaknesses
Your social and cultural influences
Mix all ingredients and the end product is a one of a kind masterpiece! A hodgepodge of ingredients that cannot ever be duplicated.
We didn’t get to choose some of the ingredients in the recipe. They seemed to choose us and resulted because we live in a broken world with a lot of broken people. And sometimes people made poor – even terrible – choices that affected us.
Some of the ingredients were intentionally added as early as birth. They are God given or God placement. Acts 17:26 tells us that God determined the times set for us and the exact places where we should live. Scripture also teaches that He gives us specific gifts.
There has never been and never will be anyone like you.
True for me. True for you.
Not one single ingredient in the recipe is wasted.
No one can worship God like you. And that is the primary calling of our lives. No one can have the impact on this world in the same way you can.
God says we are His workmanship, saved by grace through faith, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which He has already planned for us (Ephesians 2:8-10). Already planned for us! And those good works are partially possible because of that long list of ingredients.
God comes along side us and speaks truth. He says, “Your life matters. It has great value. I can do miracles through your brokenness. I can shame the wise with your foolishness. I intentionally choose the weak to shame the strong. Through the sum total of who you are, I can _____________. Nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible when I’m involved.”
So what can I do with this visual of uniqueness? One, I can embrace who I am and my purpose for living. I can believe who God says I am and allow that belief to supersede any lie I’ve believed about my identity and value. I can embrace who I am without allowing me to be defined by any one ingredient.
Secondly, I can respect others and their differences. I can get to know peoples stories. I can listen more. I can encourage others to live the abundant, truth-filled life of purpose and value that can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ. I can refuse to define anyone by any one of their “ingredients.”
Embrace and respect.
Two things that have a beautiful aroma but taste even better.