- Do you think: "Yeah right, what are you wanting from me"
- How about something like: "That's right, I am special bring me my golden slippers"
- Or maybe: "Wow... That was rude, remind me to take you off my christmas card list"
Though I was joking a little above, I feel like this phrase is something we both don't believe about ourselves or we've taken it too far. It's been my experience in over 10 years of full-time ministry that I often meet two kinds of students: ones that think they're more special than everyone & everything else and ones that think they are not worth much at all. Yes, there is another group but they are not very common... let that sink in! The sad news is, as adults, we often fall into those two groups as well. I know this to be true because I'm on social media!! I do not believe facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. are the devil but I do think there's something about these public platforms that magnifies our need to either feel special or show people we're "special." I know this because I do/feel it too...
- I post that picture (only the ones that don't make me look fat)... and wait for lots of 'likes'!!
- I share the really good story (after tweaking it to make it a little more funny)... hoping for 'shares'!!
- I change my status from 'excited' to 'sad'... waiting for someone to comment asking about it!!
Bottom line... There's a reason we are special and it's not a 'what we do' as much as it is a 'why we are'!! Recently, I re-read a book with my kids that reminded me of this simple truth yet again. The book was "You are Special" by Max Lucado. I'm guessing you have probably read it or heard of it but if you haven't, I'm strongly recommending you get it and if you have, give it another read tonight (Make it a Faith Talk this week).
In the book a small wooden person named Punchinello goes about his life as other wemmicks place 'golden stars' on those they think are special and 'grey dots' on those they do not. As much as I want to share with you the whole story... I'd rather you read it!! However, I wanted to share with you three things that really jumped out at me in new ways:
1) "...everytime they got a star, it made them feel soo good and it made them want to do it again..." Why do 'likes', 'shares' and 'followers' on social media (and life) make me feel so good!? Does this make me special?
2) "...in fact, he had so many dots people would come up to him and give him grey dots for no reason at all..." Why do I follow the crowd so easily even if it hurts other people in the process!? Am I so desperate to feel special that I'm willing to bring others down?
3) In the end, Punchinello meets a girl with no stars or dots "...and it's not because people didn't try..." but because she found her worth in the way the Maker saw her. "...each day I go and see Eli..." Why is our culture as lost as I am? Am I spending daily time with the one whom gives me true worth and direction!?
My grandpa used to say: "It's not what you know, it's who you know!" Though he was often talking about work, politics, etc. this is at the heart, the Gospel!! The gospel isn't just for those who don't feel special but also for those that think they are special for the wrong reasons.
May we take some extra time today to make sure our kids hear they are special... May we give our kids a clear reason why they are special... May we ourselves hear that we are special because of the Creator... May we make it a point to show someone else how special they are and may we be so bold to give them the reason why as well!!