When a potter finishes a piece with which he wants no replica, he will deliberately break the mold in which it was cast so that another cannot be made. Not only does this ensure a unique piece, it also greatly increases its value. We all want to be original, unique, special. I know there is no one else with my fingerprint, my DNA, my background. So why do I so often feel lost in the crowd. Just another face among so many others. Just another blog among thousands.
As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.
Here’s where I get tripped up. I think what I do makes me unique. But true originality, that’s a product of who I am. More specifically, whose I am. I had nothing to do with where I was born, who my parents are, my culture, heritage. My eye colour, skin colour, height, all were decided long before I was even born. The point is if so much has already been determined about my basic make-up, why do I not trust the Maker in having a singular plan just for me? I don’t need to follow trends, emulate fads nor imitate others. David expressed succinctly:
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made”
Unfortunately I (and I suspect many others) have bought into either one of two fallacies:
1.) Our churches (however well meaning) placed value or sermonized a specific model of who we should all be. A genre of music, a style of clothes, hobbies, or careers were all preached, however subtle, from the pulpit. Depending on the church, the lifestyle endorsement changed. One church frowns on loud music favouring traditional hymns. Another church finds a cappella the most spiritual form of worship. Slacks or jeans, dance or no dance, to tattoo or not tattoo, pierce or not pierce. Formal religion has had a say in how we live.
Take King David for example. After many heavily fought battles David finally takes the throne. One of his first acts is to bring the Ark of the Covenent into the City of David. He’s ecstatic. 2 Samuel 6:14 records that he ” . . . danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment.” His wife Michal is mortified. “She said in disgust, ‘How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do'” (v.20). But David shoots right back: “I was dancing before the Lord . . . and I am willing to look even more foolish than this, even to be humiliated in my own eyes” (v 21-22). David loved God. End of story. He wasn’t perfect, but his heart belonged to the Lord. David loved to dance, play music, sing. That was how he was made. And he did it for God’s glory.
This is not carte blanche to do whatever I want because “that’s how God made me.” That’s nonsense. Thankfully, I can read God’s word and find my boundry lines. But within them, with my heart belonging to Jesus, well, the sky’s the limit. With every jar, vase or pitcher God created, he broke the mold after every. single. one. I think we can start celebrating our differences rather than condeming them.
2.) Our culture, in all its fickle expertise, has had its way with my views on style, behaviour and choices. I am amazed at the influence Hollywood and the media have even when I don’t realize it. Seriously, who’s calling the shots here? I prefer medieval to mid century modern, old books to tablets and cider to craft beer. I like bohemian style (minus the new age nod). I read that travel boho is out, but gypsy surf is in. I know for those who love and follow fashion this makes total sense. And I respect that because God made you with an appreciation for style. But I don’t get it. The same list did say the male romper is out. Yes please. That should never have been in.
What should be in is YOU. The you God made you to be. The God who knows you and loves you. El Roi (the one who sees me) created you as you are. You can trust who you are as long as you trust whose you are.