During communion service today, the Deacon devoted the topic to being different. How we should embrace what makes us unique and different. That difference is essentially our gift from God.
How many times have I tried to fit in? How many times have I went with what ever the crowd was doing?
I remember one incident in particular. Its back from my days in Girl Scouts. Each summer we would have camp at a local state park. For the younger girls, it was a day camp. But as we got older, we got to spend more and more nights. So that by the time we were in 5th or 6th grade we were spending all 4 nights at camp.
It was during one of those nights, while finishing up washing our dishes. (Each girl was responsible to wash their own dishes, and then putting them into a mesh bag so they could drip dry from a tree). That we began talking about church. Being from a different community than the other girls, I of course was different. Now these girls were talking about their Church, and as they talked, I realized that we were from different religions. As I tried to fit in, and just be a part of the group, I discovered several of our beliefs were different. We were all Christians, but how we shared and practiced our Christianity was different. Not wanting to be seen as different, I basically kept my mouth shut.
How often do we try to fit in, afraid to be different? As a young child, for me that fear was real.
It was years later when it dawned on me to “dare to be different”. It was then that I began to do things a little bit different than my friends. It was then that I began to see those things that make us different, make us unique, are really a way, a path in which we can make a difference.
It was at that point in my life I was also introduced to a famous poet through one of his most famous poems.
For me that poem became a type of morning prayer. I posted a copy so I could easily see it each day, and soon began to shed my fear of being different. I began to see my difference as a gift, that my difference was unique to me, and with those differences, I could make the world a better place.
Today I challenge myself daily to find what makes me different, what makes me unique and how I can use that gift to improve my life, and the loves of those around me.
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