Read this aloud to yourself:
I’m special. In all the world there’s nobody like me. Since the beginning of Time, there has never been another person like me. Nobody has my smile. Nobody has my eyes, my nose, my hair, my hands, my voice.
No one can be found who has my handwriting. Nobody anywhere has my tastes for food or music or art. No one sees things just as I do. In all of Time there’s been no one who laughs like me, no one who cries like me. And what makes me laugh and cry will never provoke identical laughter and tears from anybody else, ever.
No one reacts to any situation just as I would react.
I’m the only one in all Creation who has my set of abilities. Oh, there will always be somebody who is better at one of the things I’m good at, but no one in the universe can reach the quality of my combination of talents, ideas, and abilities and excel in the same ways I do. None can match the symphony sound when all those things are played together. I’m a symphony. Through all of eternity no one will ever look, talk, walk, think, or do like me.
I’m rare. And in all rarity there is great value.
Because of my great rare value, I need not attempt to imitate others. I will accept–yes, I will celebrate my difference.
And I’m beginning to realize it’s no accident that I’m special. I’m beginning to realize that God made me special for a very special purpose. He must have a job for me that no one else can do as well as I. Out of billions of applicants, only one is qualified, only one has the right combination of what it takes.
That one is me–because. . .
Done? Great. Now, go back and read it aloud to yourself. I’ll wait; I have a fresh pot of newly-ground medium-roast coffee here.
“You already told me to read this aloud to myself.”
Yeah. But you didn’t do it. Or if you did, you sure weren’t buying it. No worries. I didn’t do it the first time I read it, either. Or second. Or . . .
No-no-no—I’m serious. I’m not going any farther until you read this aloud to yourself.
Now–read. Aloud. To yourself.
Lo-o-ove a good, hot cup of fresh coffee. And the second one’s even better.
How many times would you need to reread that before you began to accept it’s truth? Professional entrepreneurial types give you a huge smile and instantly give verbal agreement with it. But I know a few of them privately and well enough to know it takes even these professional positive thinkers a half dozen tries before the simple truth finally begins to sink in.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:11 Paul wrote “God chose you. . .” Not the guy next to you. Not the brunette in the cubicle across the aisle. Not your brother-in-law. You.
“But you don’t understand. . .”
Yeah. I think I do. Where you and I are irreplaceably, totally unique as persons–like I’M SPECIAL says–the experiences of human existence are amazingly common. They cross all cultural and racial boundaries. They, like Love, really are in every language. The most common denominator on Earth is “the knowing look.” Ah-h-h. Been there and definitely done that.
God chose you. And when Jesus, being God, said not to judge – meaning being harshly judgmental – He wasn’t just referring to others. He also meant you. Now, before you mentally skip ahead of me, slow down some. He meant you aren’t even to judge you. There we go. Now we’re back in sink.
Yeah-yeah… but if I’d have spelled it the other way it’d only have reminded me of that singing group that was a clone of other singing groups who were trying to look and sound like other clones of singing groups trying to look and sound like— Well, that’s for another time. Refresh your coffee and let’s perambulate around this, some.
“Let me finish. You don’t understand how rotten I feel about myself and my spiritual growth.”
Sure I do. I’m intuitive, a natural introvert and a recovering perfectionist. That means I don’t just observe and evaluate others–I do it most of all to me. And that means I reserve my harshest judgmental attitudes for myself. It’s not easy being me.
Regardless of your personality, you’re usually the roughest on yourself. It’s a good thing you only have two fists and can’t reach your own face with your feet. It would give “jumping to contusions” an entirely new meaning.
Know what? The 12 guys Jesus spent all of his time with lacked faith most of that time, found fault with His actions, and were quick to censure Him. They ran whenever faced with trouble, they betrayed Him, and swore as they denied ever knowing Him. And with all that, Jesus found them not only capable of carrying on His work, but poured His Spirit into and out through them. And, by association, that includes you.
Genuine sorrow and humility are necessary, but God doesn’t want you crushed under the load of your own judgmental spirit toward yourself. Whatever holds you in the grip of your own disgust and abhorrence is the thing God only pointed out to help you grow beyond where you are and change for the better.
He did not intend for you to destroy yourself and your ongoing effectiveness in the lives of those around you.
No, let this sink in. Feeding upon one’s self is a dazzlingly bad idea. Doesn’t taste real good, either. It’s kind of like mixing unseasoned parsnips with quinoa.
God thinks you’re special, and He sees in you things you cannot see. He counts growth in spirit in amazingly different ways than you do. What you see as a flaming, uncontrollable spin into the ground He may see as the beginning of some real growth and preparation for you to really do some worthwhile stuff in this life. You may feel so bruised, so wounded by what you think and what you see in yourself that you’ve about given up.
Well, sir–(my daddy used to say that a lot, regardless of the gender of the listeners)–that ain’t what God has in mind. If you’ll let Him gently lead you through whatever seems so scuzzy and useless and pointless to you, His unlimited love will grow some stuff in you, and through you to others, that you’d never have otherwise experienced.
You know I surrender a certain part of myself as I write to lift, encourage, edify and challenge you. As I ask you a question here or there, offer this or that suggestion, or paint a word picture, I want you to see and feel through my writing
- the hot salty blur of tears
- the copper taste of blood
- the keen wounds of betrayal
- the ugliness of human despair
- the dull hollowness of rejection
- the familiarity with disease and death
- the ebb and flow of raw human emotions
- the wizened facial seams of life experience
- the soaring, crazy hope of unexpected love
- the emotional roller coaster of authentic friendship
- the gravity-free rise of a soul caught up in praise to God
- the Holy Spirit’s amazing grace practically applied on the street.
- the reality of God’s ability to do anything, any way, at any time.
So along with my own understanding that I’M special comes a parallel fact: I have no room to coast. My ‘specialness’ comes from God just as yours does. It’s only as I use that in His wisdom and apply it with His grace that it boogies on and does what He’s kept me here and gifted me to do:
to write to and for you that which both entertains and informs, somehow energizing you and keeping you coming back for more.
So. I not only made it a trademark a long time ago but work very hard to show and live:
I love you, and I believe in you. Still. And. You. Are. Special.
Now, go back and reread it again, will you?
And this time, believe it.
© D. Dean Boone, January 2015