I have probably said this before, but it's ever so true, so I'm restating it: I LOVE HUMP DAY HMMS!!! Julie's blog hosts a hump day hmmm once a week, and this week's topic is "For Wednesday's Hump Day Hmm, take this issue---this idea of rating people according to how they fit or don't fit some arbitrary ideal---and debate/discuss some angle of it. Make it general or make it personal---how it affects you, our culture, your kids, your morals...however you want to approach it. Next week we'll discuss atonement. (That will make more sense when I share the story behind it.)"
I have spent many hours musing over this issue, and this is the conclusion to which I have come. Basing people's worth off of the way they look or the way we think people should be is probably the Devil's strongest tool. I say this for two reasons. The first reason is because of scripture (1 Sam 16:7) "Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature. For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." The second reason is because of my own personal experiences.
Maybe the four people who grow up looking like the mold agree with the world's assessment of beautiful. However, I was certainly not one of those people, and although I'm no longer at the complete bottom end of the world's scale, I'm still not gorgeous. I am now completely OK with not looking like a super model. However, I had an uncommonly long gawky stage.
Everyone has a stage in their lives where their arms and legs are too long, and they trip over stuff. Most people call this gawky stage puberty. My gawky stage started way before puberty. I was a beautiful baby and little girl. Everyone who saw my picture go across the screen in high school ooohed at my baby picture. I was beautiful. Then I turned 7. I was one of the first children in my class to get glasses, but because I was a clumsy and rambunctious child who liked to climb and jump out of trees as well, I got some extra large, sturdy pink plastic frames. They covered about half of my face, and my teeth were falling out. This also became the time when I stopped wanting my hair brushed and I would scream until my mom finally gave in, just long enough until I could go to the hairdresser and get it all chopped off.
In seventh grade, I had to get braces. I was already teased mercilessly about just about anything one could find to harass me about, and then I had to have braces as well. Seventh grade started a time in my life where I was about as depressed as I could get. Even worse, as other girls' bodies were developing into lovely young ladies' bodies, I was still flat as a pancake and as gawky as ever. I thought that I was just slow, and I was, but I was REALLY slow. Therefore, when I got to high school, every other girl in the class was starting to look beautiful, and here I was, running into lockers, boys calling me a heifer, and really feeling like God must not love me like he loved the other girls and wondering if it was worth trying to stay alive for another day.
In 10th grade, I finally started to fill out. The first picture that I didn't feel like cutting up with scissors or ripping to shreds and flushing down the toilet was taken, and I started to feel like maybe I was worth something after all.
I think that trying to make us compare ourselves to other people is one of Satan's very biggest tools. I'm not like anyone else. There are places where I have similarities, but the beauty is that I'm me. I'm only myself. I love to be myself. It's OK if I'm not a concert pianist. I don't have to be. It's OK if we go bowling and I get a 40 while everyone else gets 80 or 100. I'm alright with that. The true beauty of life is when I try to do my very best. Regardless of how everyone else does, my best is what really matters to me. If I play a concert, and I make mistakes, that's OK as long as it was the best I could do that day. I'm just working on becoming a little better day by day. At the end of life, that's what really matters.