(Photo: Robert Huffstutter via Creative Commons)
Last week I exposed the myth of being normal. Today I want to develop this idea, and look at the spirituality behind it.
Which, naturally, brings me to twinkies.
Much of the food we eat is mass produced. Most of it, to be honest. For example, the king of mass produced food, twinkies. (Or if you’re British like me, Baked Beans). These are all made in a factory, then packaged up, labelled and are distributed to shops and supermarkets.
All identical. Uniform.
In the film ‘Equilibrium’, we see a world where human emotion, creativity, and individuality, has been wiped out. By law all people are required to inject themselves regularly with a chemical which suppresses human emotion. And all items which may inspire emotion – art, books, anything creative or imaginative – are destroyed and anyone guilty of reading them, or any act of emotion, is executed.
There is uniformity. No originality.
And truth is, when we’re all the same we lose our humanity. As one of the main characters says:
“Everything that makes us what we are. Gone”
When God created us, He didn’t use a production line. He never created us to be uniform. There was never one prototype He designed us all to be like. There was no one journey to follow.
We were never designed to be the same.
This is why any story culture tries to tell us about what a ‘normal life’ is a pure myth. Why any story we’re told about what life is ‘meant’ to be like is a lie.
God wrote a story for each of us. And each of those stories is unique. We look different. We act different. And at a very basic, genetic, dna level, we are different.
Our bodies share characteristics, yes. How our bodies work is the same. We are the same species.
But our lives are different. Our personality. Our talents. Our experiences. Not one single person is exactly identical. We all have different likes and dislikes. We dress differently. And we all react differently to different circumstances.
Yes there are some experiences, medical conditions and circumstances many of us share. There are some general personality types which apply to many of us. But there is not one human being alive who exactly identical to another. There never has been, and there never will be.
And this is how it should be. It’s how we were created.
We aren’t twinkies. We are individual, beautiful masterpieces of a creator God.
Western culture in particular wants us to follow a set pattern, there is a stereotypical ‘normal’ life we’re to aspire to. And one of the tragedies of our culture is that many believe the lie that we’re meant to be twinkies, not masterpieces.
Culture tells us to be a twinkie. But God created us to be masterpieces. (you can tweet that here)
God has made us all different. Very deliberately designed with a unique mix of personality, gifts and experiences, to have a unique impact on the world. To tell a story which is uniquely ours.
He may not be the cause all of our circumstances – suffering, loss, grief, sickness – but He does use them to shape us. These all mould us very uniquely, and God uses this mix in a very specific way. Even in scripture our uniqueness is emphasised and encouraged. If every body was a hand, what would we see with? If we were all eyes, how would we hear? Or walk?
How can we be the body of Christ if we’re all twinkies?
To be fully effective as a church, as a people, to be the people we were created to be, is to defy normal. To defy any concept of conformity which culture sells to us. To be free to be who we are, who God designed us to be – not who anyone tells us we should be. This was God’s plan all along.
We are not twinkies. We are masterpieces. Original. Special. With a unique story to tell which is all ours and no one else’s.
If we only have the courage to tell it.
So don’t let yourself become a consumer twinkie. Be the masterpiece you were created to be.
Do you agree with me or disagree with me?
Do you want to be a twinkie or a masterpiece?
What do you believe is God’s story for you…and are you living it?
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