We are uniquely formed under God's supervision
The word on the street is that you are pretty much just like anyone else. Apparently, the fact that you are 80 percent like everyone else trumps the fact that you are 20 percent different and beyond that, unique.
One obvious fact omitted in this reasoning is that from a personal point of view about half of the population is of the other gender. That changes the stats more than just a little. What does hold up, though, is that even though all people have eyes, noses and hair, none of these “samenesses” are exact. On some counts—irises, fingerprints and DNA—the truth is that there is no other person on the planet that is an exact match for you.
While I do not affirm all of the lyrics of Lady Gaga’s “I Was Born This Way,” the popularity and power of this anthem rest in the everyday human struggle to view and accept oneself with contentment and even joy as uniquely created. Although there is a great deal of pressure on us from all sides to be other than who we are, the Bible clearly affirms that from our first breath of air we are uniquely formed under God’s supervision. “For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb…. I am fearfully and wonderfully made“ (Ps. 139: 13-14).
Not long ago our decentralized USMB staff gathered to pursue increased clarity in our national mission and vision and to strengthen cohesion in our team. As part of our “get to know one another better” time, we shared with each other the results of both a Spiritual Gifts Inventory and a Personal Behavior Patterns Inventory. It was immediately clear that despite sometimes falling into similar patterns in our gifting, preferences and relational and partnership styles, we are far from the same. And it was abundantly clear to me that our USMB family would not be as well served if any one of us were serving alone. Some stuff that makes me crazy is high-octane fuel for others on the team. We are different, and that is by divine design.
One of the ongoing challenges I face is being content with who I am, with how God made me, with who I have become. Do you ever deal with that? This is not to say it is inappropriate to pursue growth through learning and adjustment. But aside from that, my human nature has an unending carnal desire to know better than others, to be best at everything and to be all things to everyone. Nasty right? It behooves me to chill out, right? And to check my pride, right? That’s what you were thinking, right? You’re absolutely right and entitled to that opinion, assuming, as I see it, that you don’t have a twig or something worse in your eye.
You really cannot be replaced. There is no one like you. You matter, because no matter what someone else might think, the team is not complete without each player in position. When you are invited into a discerned place on the team and your response is that someone else can cover that in your place, you are most certainly wrong.
While none of us is indispensable, all of us matter. No matter what anyone else says, or no matter what you might think.
By the way, please plan to join us in Omaha at Conection 2012 in July. It really matters that you are there. No one else can take your place.
Ed Boschman is the USMB executive director.