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Archive for the ‘a dust in the vastness of the cosmos’ Category

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I’ve always wondered how it would feel to be the face in the billboard. To have a face or physique that could well earn a living. To be able to make the hearts of girls thrum with the merest sight of me, and to leave them giggling and flustered with a simple smile.

How does it feel, to have that power? How much more effective could i be if i had a face like Piolo Pascual’s, which, they say, can make knees tremble and hearts buckle? If I had the height and physique of Marc Nelson, how much easier could my life become?

Sadly, however, my God has deemed that I have an appearance that is, at best, ordinary. Perhaps it could grow to be loved by some people, but I am hardly one to make heads turn. I do not know why my God did not give me these weapons, these tools, but seeing how beautiful people get a lot of favors and breaks and perks, I bet those tools would’ve been mighty useful in my hands.

For that matter, I wonder why my God didn’t give me a voice that could rally His people with a song. Even my mother — hands down my greatest fan — gave up on me and my singing career. But I’m there — Sunday after Sunday — bawling my voice out to my God in worship. With a heart screamingly aching to sing for Him, I wonder why He didn’t give me the tools to do so exceptionally.

Average is what I am when it comes to the arts and sports. I can’t act even if my life depended on it, I dance funny, and the only drawings I ever made were ripoffs from X-Men and Street Fighter when I was still in gradeschool. Sure, sometimes I do get my point across in my writings, but my syntax needs major improvement and my writing voice is still under development.

My eyes are slow, that’s why the pingpong ball gets past me even if I love that game to pieces. The only karate I do is when I’m alone in elevators, and all the points, rebounds and assists I raked in basketball were paid for in blood and sweat. I wasn’t that tall, or fast or athletic, but I was tough enough to bang bodies at the post and I wasn’t afraid of the big boys. Where I lacked talent, I made up for in perseverance and determination. I may not be able to dunk on my opponent, but I’d sure as hell make sure my annoying defense would make him prefer to pass the ball instead of attempting a shot.

I’m smart, and I’m smart enough to know that there are others quantum leaps ahead of me. I am uncouth and horribly socially inept. Well-dressed and stylish chicks scare me. I am of average height, of ordinary appearance, with a commoner’s social stature. As much as Hallmark and Disney would like us to believe that everybody’s special, the same platitude inadvertently reveals my — our — mediocrity.

This can quickly turn depressing, with questions of one’s self worth and one’s unique purpose in the face of six billion other souls in the planet — a sphere that is but a speck in the unfathomable vastness of the cosmos. Why am I here? Where am I of use? Of what importance is my life when there are, literally, billions of others like me?

Strangely, God seems to see and evaluate us in a wholly different benchmark than what we are used to using. A centurion, just one of the many in the vast Roman empire, literally makes Jesus speechless with amazement. A liar and a betrayer is commissioned to be the rock of His church. An impure woman, a social outcast bleeding for more than a decade and worthless in everybody’s eyes, strikes a chord in the Savior’s heart that his jam-packed ministry schedule takes a detour just to meet her. In the eyes of Jesus, it seems, a person’s true worth is not something I am familiar with, nor equipped to evaluate. If I were to believe Him, it seems that I — with all my flaws and my mediocrity — am worth the One True God dying for.

As for one’s purpose, again, God shows a ‘preference’ for people no upper echelon manager would ever trust. A stuttering fugitive is tasked to face the Pharaoh and impudently say “let my people go.” A shepherd boy no different from the rest, is picked to become Israel’s greatest king. A deceiver and manipulator becomes the father of a chosen people. A disobedient prophet is ushered into the belly of a whale until he learns to speak the words he is told to speak. Looking at God’s history with His people, I come away not with an imposing portfolio of remarkable resumes, but rather a scruffy list containing the stories of the most ordinary of people being used most extraordinarily.

Herein lies the difficulty: unlearning to determine my worth not with society’s weighing scales, but through the eyes of the one being who matters — my God. Amidst everything that I have been taught since I could remember and against all instinct, I must pound it to my heart that it matters not who I am, what I’ve done, or even what I’m capable of doing — just the love that I have chosen to accept. My mediocrity, apparently, was never considered in the equation — all that is needed from me is to open my hands and receive His hands on my own.

In the end, when my thoughts turn to my worth and to my purpose, I must remember a quaint Jewish teaching that Philip Yancey wrote about. He said that Jews are told to carry two stones to know their place in the universe…

One stone contains the words “I am made but of dust.”

The other bears “The world was created for me.”

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