i’m sure there’s been times that you’ve looked at someone else and described them as weird, off the wall,

a few fries short of a happy meal, etc. but have you ever considered that others might be saying the same thing about you? have you ever stopped to think, what makes you such a weirdo?

i would generalize that most of us think we’re “normal”. look up normal in the dictionary and you’re picture’s there, right? (see picture to the right)

and why would we think any different? for the most part childhood isn’t nice to those who are different.

sure we may be taught at home or in the classroom to value those around us who are different. perhaps you’re picturing the kid with a different skin color, or some physical limitation, or whose family couldn’t afford to buy the fanciest toys or clothes. and for the most part while in class we all tried to look like we were being nice to that kid.

but let the recess bell ring and get those kids out on the playground, or in the cafeteria and it’s not always so pretty. kids can be downright mean (i don’t have to give you examples here, your own memories are probably already replaying in your own mind).

and so as young kids we try to do everything we can to be “the same” as everybody else. at least until maybe the middle of jr. high, or sometimes not even until high school, we start to want to be unique. to be different. anything-but-our-parents.

yet, even this “differentness” we strive for isn’t really that different. because if you’d look at all our friends, we look just like them! and so all the athletes look the same, but they’re different from everyone else. and all the country-music lovers look the same, but different from the other groups. and the same with the nerds, the thespians, the goths, the band geeks, etc., etc., fill-in-the-blank, _______________.

naturally there are some that even in jr. high and high school begin to realize the value of being “different”. but for the most part they’re the exception.

i think for the rest of us it doesn’t quite hit us until we’re out in the “real world” and we’re trying to make a name for ourselves in our jobs, communities, ministries, etc., etc. it’s then that we realize, “whoa if i’m going to get hired i’ve gotta be better, offer something else, or make a better impression than the other people.

but at what point do we begin to appreciate people’s differences when a job isn’t on the line? or when their success doesn’t help our cause succeed?

when was the last time you were in a group of people with differing opinions, talents, and perspectives and one or two of those people was absolutely on the opposite side of an issue than you and yet you could still walk away from the table appreciating those differences.

when was the last time you actually tallked (not argued) with someone from the other side of the political spectrum as you in an effort to simply understand?

when was the last time you befriended someone who is perhaps less fortunate than you and showed compassion rather than passed judgement?

and how often do you think, “maybe i’m not that normal. maybe i’m the weird one”

and you know what … that’s a good thing. God created you with individual gifts, talents, abilities, passions, and experiences. be who he create you to be.

so? what do you bring to the table? what part of the human tapestry do you fill? what makes you so different?


// today i’m thankful for:
1. my wife
2. my wife
3. my wife
4. my wife
5. my wife :o)