Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One of a Kind

An idea I was always skeptical of my entire life was the idea that every person is unique, and the fact that "there will never exist another person exactly like me" is supposed to somehow make me feel valuable. I wondered how that was possible, or how it was in any way a significant fact.

But then I finally realized what it is that makes everyone unique and that uniqueness of worth. I think of it as everyone being a painting. We are all made of the same materials and the same colors, but what makes the painting beautiful is not the colors in it, but the harmony of the colors.

We are all made of the same clay, even the same personality qualities, but in different proportions, and what is important is how we harmonize the different proportions of our traits to make sure we can make the most beautiful painting we can with the quantity of materials we are given. It's not about what we have, but the proportion it all comes in.

What makes each person unique is the unique harmony of all their qualities. I think that is why it is also important never to compare yourself to another. There is no such thing as the perfect proportion of qualities within a person.

Even if one were God Himself, for He is 100% of every Goodness that exists, He isn't limited to proportions. The Creator and Painter cannot be made of paint, but no painting can be realized without Him pouring out His Spirit and Essence and Mind into it.

It is something like that with Christ and us. The more we get what we now call 'ourselves' out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. There is so much of Him that millions and millions of 'little Christs,' all different, will still be too few to express Him fully. ... It is no good trying to 'be myself' without Him. - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Sunday, June 3, 2012

God and Friends

H.G. Bishop Thomas of Qosia gave a lecture at a summer retreat once, when I was in high school.  The point he made, and the visual aid he used, has never left me, and I have thankfully been reminded of his important lesson when I needed the reminder.

He was talking about finding fulfillment.  Finding fulfillment in other people vs. finding fulfillment in God.  He had three cups in front of him: one large one, filled to the brim with water, and two smaller ones, both about half way full with water.

The two small cups represent you and a friend.  You give a little water, they give a little water, its mutual, even though you are not completely fulfilled, you're both somewhat satisfied.  You'll take what you can get.  All is well, until your friend stops returning the water.  You pour a little more.  No response.  You pour a little more.  And eventually you are left empty.

But then H.G. submerged you, the small empty cup, into the big full cup.  Him in I and I in Him.  You are fulfilled by God, whose cup never runs out (in reality), and you can fill as many little cups as you want, as many friends, as many people that could use your help, without you yourself running out, and without you yourself needing any one of them to return the favor.

You might have more to offer than most people in a friendship, and that's okay.  I've recently become bitter when realizing that I've invested so much in a friendship, and have yet to feel satisfied with it.  This has been exceedingly vexing for me, because when I question whether it is worth it, I am evidently putting my loyalty on the line, and remaining loyal, never losing hope, never closing out anyone, never burning bridges, is a characteristic of mine that I never want to let go.

Then the cups came to mind.  Him in I and I in Him.  I remembered, I don't have to sacrifice my loyalty, nor do I have to be upset with any of my friendships and find them a waste of time, when clearly I have been a good influence in some people's lives and they've done nothing wrong to warrant me leaving, but be "not good enough," "just not on my level."

I can have the best of both worlds.  I've been reminded of what I'm doing wrong.

Return to Me, and I will return to you.  (Malachi  3:7)