Think about that time you did a group project in school and you wanted to kick out that one person who seemed to do the minimum and give dumb* ideas. I mean, was it just me who got annoyed? I can seriously conjure up someone right now. Just. Don’t. Speak. Or that one time you offered a solution to a problem at work and she – your boss – totally dismissed you. Or when that friend seemed so much better than you; he was a classic man – swaggy, charismatic and funny.
We all tend to pride ourselves on something. And it often MUST be something, right? If I’m not the cute guy, I must be the funny guy. If I’m not the pretty girl, I must be the sassy one. If I’m not funny, I must be smart. And if I’m not comfortable speaking, I must write emotional therapy memes on Instagram. Ha! Ok, I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist that one. My point is, everyone is clamoring to be seen and be heard, and sadly, we’re often trying to one-up each other to prove that we are something.
As I write, I laugh to myself, thinking of something I fought to claim. Alright, so I’ve had natural hair my whole life. Let. me. tell. you. That was MY THING. After I got over being the sole puffy headed gal in junior high school (my peers had to get over it too), I went into high school like “I am unstoppable, also unpoppable, come at me sideways, teflons are droppable.” I was theeee natural hair queen – not because I had abundant tresses :ha: but because I felt daring to do it, be it, when it wasn’t cool. When I went to college, I loved walking into parties with a puff. It made me unique, and different; it made me stand out. I also loved bi-weekly debates about why being natural was better. In retrospect, I was a bit of a natural hair snob. Given my enthusiasm and passion for natural hair, you would’ve thought that I would be oober excited at the natural hair movement. Nope. I was kinda annoyed. First of all, it was overwhelming in general. I think the world at large was taken aback. All of a sudden, EVERYONE was natural. I was like ‘wait wait wait, this is my throne.’ Long story short, I learned real quick to get over it and myself (to the point where I chopped it all off) and found more meaningful ways to define myself. 🙂
I think you get the point. I got to reading about this in 1 Cor. 12:27 and what it says on how vital all of our gifts are. Our individual gifts, talents, and personalities. Though churches may more readily honor the musicians and singers, ushers and sound guys are equally important. Your loud friend may be good for fun times but you, the quiet friend, may be who people turn to in crisis.
So what are we to do? Sometimes we can’t help that we’re smarter, or louder, or natural-er.
31 Pursue the greater gifts, and let me tell you of a more excellent way—love.
Preceding the popular love I Cor. 13 chapter, this verse sums it all up. Love is the greatest talent you can have. No matter how hard we try, we will never have it all or be it all. If you’re broken today, I can’t look down on you because I have been through it. If she’s rich today, she can teach others how to build and sustain wealth tomorrow. And that same wealthy woman can talk to a homeless man, knowing he can teach her something she probably doesn’t know. That’s love. It’s not all romantic and gushy. It simply makes room for others by connecting differences, ideas, and broken bridges. We are collectively important and are individually just a piece of the puzzle. It is the ultimate humility pill.
So to be honest, it doesn’t really matter what you are or have accomplished. I think that growing up forreal means realizing that what you have to offer is only as good as the sum of your ability to readily accept people where they are, and the willingness to freely give to them what you yourself once needed. I am only as good as you. Can you imagine a world where people said, “Well, I have accolade and I am skill but I’m actually kinda good at love”?
Well, it makes for a good meme.
Let’s chat: How can you make room for others this week?