Today, I reached the end of my box of contact lenses and decided that I would buy new glasses. If you are anything like me, you’re a vain creature who starts your search with great optimism. This time, you’re going to find something you really love. The situation, however, rapidly deteriorates. Your perky thoughts are replaced by rather dour ones as you surreptitiously slip the 100th pair of frames onto the bridge of your nose, furtively glance in the mirror for exactly one millisecond, and replace them with a grimace – hoping that that couple in the corner isn’t snickering at you because you thought you could pull off Buddy Holly. In the end, you sadly point to that boring pair that will “go with anything” and then proceed to empty your wallet.
Well, today was no different. This time, I was going to find something I really loved. I was driving to the store and thinking that I wanted a pair that would communicate something about who I am. And then I started to berate myself for this absurd vanity. They’re just glasses. I started thinking about how easy it is to get carried away with things that don’t really matter. A few of the lyrics to the song “Empty Me” popped into my head:
Holy fire, burn away
My desire of anything
that is not of you and is of me
I want more of you and less of me…
Good song, and I think the message is a positive one; but as I considered these lyrics, the thought that they could be construed the wrong way also came to mind. I’m not trying to justify my pride here, but sometimes I think that Christians don’t emphasize the beauty of human beings nearly enough. In our preoccupation with corruption and our efforts to behave in a way that pleases God, maybe we lose our appreciation for something incredible that He gave us: Individuality. We were created in His image. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but I think that it at least implies we should honor and recognize the incredible diversity of humanity. Christianity isn’t about conforming. Glorifying God means using your unique gifts and traits to their fullest potential. I think we should acknowledge – and wonder at – His mind-blowing creativity.
Incidentally, I did find glasses I liked today. And so I am proudly wearing a pair that says (in a very stylish and sophisticated way, of course), “Yup, I’m kind of a dork, but I’m proud of that!” My husband agrees… I am definitely a dork. 🙂
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,f with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Happy early Thanksgiving, everyone!