“Look! They’re flying!”
“Look! There’s a ghost in our cart!”
“It’s just lights.”
“Look at the jellyfish!”
“It’s made out of feathers.”
“Look at those monsters!”
“They’re just humans in monster clothes.”
After five days in Disney, I have to say that my just-turned-five-years-old-this-week daughter kind of busted my bubble. I was wowed by the excellence of the entertainment but she didn’t miss a trick. Every time I got excited at the extremely well done wonder of the shows or the characters Maylee very matter-of-factly informed me what was behind the scenes. I guess I should have known better than to believe even the best of the best would be able to successfully put one over on the likes of her.
This is a girl who, by age two, refused to open her own Christmas and birthday presents. She so dislikes surprises. She hates being told what to think, what to feel, or, God knows, what to do – even if its for her own good. She hates being singled out or doted upon for any reason. She is extremely shy, extremely smart, and by golly, extremely sure of herself. Maylee prefers to be incognito and undercover. She is my little mastermind, complete with a no-nonsense, let-me-do-it-myself-or-I-can’t-enjoy-it attitude.
Nevertheless, every so often throughout our vacation, Maylee would tug my shirt and inform me, “Mommy, I wanna live here.”
It got me to thinking about how different people really are. Maylee experienced Disney world in an entirely different way than the rest of the family did. She felt different. She thought different. She remembers different. But the differences don’t mean she loved it less. The differences just mean she is able to teach us something about how to discover the world in a completely different way; how to love her unique personality more; how to see through the eyes of another perspective and learn even more about our vast, variety-loving God.
When we can only see the differences in others as negatives, we miss out on what they have to offer us. We overlook the gifts they bring into our world. We refuse the exchange of ideas meant to challenge and sharpen us as well-rounded, open-minded, life-appreciating individuals.
As a deep thinker and, admittedly, a kind of unusual human being, I understand what it is to be quite dissimilar in most circles. What I’m just now beginning to realize is that I like myself. I love who I am. I like being exactly who God created me to be. And I do not need anyone else’s approval to do so. I don’t ever want to conform to the status quo. I don’t care who disagrees. And I will not be told for one more second what to feel, what to think, or what to do by any person who refuses to accept me for who I am. Popeye had it right: “I am what I am and that’s all I am.” From now on, when I tug on my Father’s shirt I will be telling him that this is where I wanna live.
I know that I know that I am who the Great I Am made me. He did not fail or flounder. It is only his grace that changes me, not man’s disgust and disdain which is so often cast upon me under the guise of his name. I trust God alone to finish that which he began – not by might, nor by power, but by his Spirit. Amen.
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. ~1 Corinthians 15:9-10