Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
I have this friend.
He’s pretty amazing at everything he attempts. He has a lot of the same interests and capabilities, and does a lot of the same work as me, only a lot better. He can build smarter web sites. He can code (well) in several web programming languages. He’s even a handyman kinda guy, who can build just about anything. (Wonder if he uses duct tape?)
There are days I think, “Man, I should just quit right now! My friend can do all this stuff I’m trying to do so much better than me. Sheesh!”
I have these other friends.
They have been in the hospital with their beautiful baby boy almost the entire 3 months he has been alive. (When they weren’t in the hospital with him, they were at home—not sleeping—just to make sure he would make it through the night.) It’s not looking good. There are people all over the world praying for this little guy (with God, all things are possible) who is suffering from a terminal genetic disorder. (Though, actually, adding to the difficulty is the fact that the doctors aren’t even sure what is causing all that is happening to his tiny body.)
There are moments where, when I look back at the very emotionally and physically and spiritually draining year (plus) that we have lived through in 2011, I am tempted to think, with my heart heavy for my friends, “Well, I suppose I should be thankful that all that I have been through can’t be as bad as what they are facing, and all they have been through.”
What is it about our hearts, our inner selves, that must compare?
Whether it is, “I’m not as good as him…” or, “I guess I’m better off than them?” … there is a strong tendency to compare.
It’s why we judge. It’s why there are prejudices. We are constantly looking at others lives in comparison to ours.
But there is no comparison.
I am me. You are you. You are the most perfect you. And quite likely, no… most definitely, you are not me. (And of course, I am not you.)
And, we shouldn’t be.
God made a world full of diversity. There is diversity beyond our imaginations in all the rest of his creation, and when we’re having a good day, we can see that there is beautiful diversity in Us: the Crown of His Creation.
I’m not sure why we do it. I am thankful that God keeps developing my trust in him to the point where I am doing it much less often. But I still do.
And I should not.
All we are meant to do is to stay connected to him, listen to him, be loved by him, and then live life with the people he asks us to: rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. None of us is better or worse than another. We may make choices that are better or worse, but even in those, we are not the ones who are to judge others and mete out praise or punishment (unless we’re in some official capacity to do so).
[T]he Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.Micah 6:8
We’re not competitors in life. We are fellow pilgrims. We have the same Father, and the same Oldest Brother. And the same Spirit he promises to those who will follow. Life lived together with him is vibrant and deep and there’s enough to go around, through the highest and lowest we go through.
It’s a lie that we should be as good as that guy, or that we’re not as good as that girl. We can’t have it any better or worse than anyone else. We have it exactly as he wants us to. We’re right where we’re supposed to be, especially if we’re listening to—and following—His lead.
Then there’s no comparison.