Ninety-nine percent of the world lives in a state of, to be blunt: mediocrity. We are in the bad-but-not-worst and good-but-not-best kind of land. Because, let’s face it: There is always someone faster, smarter, taller and wealthier. There is always someone more muscular, more accomplished and more advanced. And while little Joey once thought he was the best soccer player in the world, somewhere along the way, he was informed that his chances of playing in the World Cup were slim to none.
For the Ronaldos and Beckhams, crushing inadequacy is suspended for the short term and dreams come true. But where does that leave the rest of us? We, the teachers and accountants and writers and salespeople. How do we deal with the feeling of being “not enough?” Oh, we train and we try. We cheat and we lie. Sometimes we settle and sometimes we give up. All in all: We adjust our goals and carry on. I’d argue that, done in a healthy way, there’s nothing wrong with that. But the tendency is either to go all in to achieve what we think we “should” or check out and coast through life on money, good grades, good looks and our own control and satisfaction.
Here’s a refreshing thought: There’s one area where you and I aren’t inadequate. One area where we are on equal playing ground with Stephen Hawking, Michael Phelps and Kate Middleton.
Here it is: We are maximumly loved by God!
The Bible says that God showed His love for us by sending His son to die for sinful humanity (Romans 5:8). Because of that love, we are no longer under the law, but under grace (Romans 6), and that means that nothing we do or don’t do can change the way the Lord so deeply treasures us. See, it’s not about us. Not at all. But God, being who He is, desires to bless us and love us and restore us to the unity that sin so stealthily strangled from our grasp. The Word says the Lord is in your midst and rejoicing over you (Zephaniah 3:17). He is not partial, no matter who you are what success you have, or haven’t, found in life (Job 34:19). How seriously awesome is that? And how difficult to truly grasp in our finite minds. For all we know is conditional love, it has ingrained itself into our brains and become the definition of love.
But what if you didn’t have to be good enough? What if your talents and mediocrities and failures all painted a picture of a glorious Savior who can- and will- be magnified through your life? Friends, that’s the truth!
Did you ever read the story about Punchinello? As Max Lucado tells it, Punchinello lived in a village with other small wooden people, the Wemmicks. Each one was different with different talents. But poor Punchinello felt that he had no gift, no worth. Finally, he meets Eli the woodmaker and he comes to realize that he is special after all. The reason isn’t because he is talented or good-looking, but because the woodmaker who created him, says so. “You are mine,” he tells Punchinello. “That’s why you matter to me.” (Read an online version of the story HERE)
Woah. Kinda deep for a kids book, don’t you think? It used to be my favorite as a child, and maybe that’s because I felt liberated by the notion that I didn’t have to live up to perfection’s standards that pressed in on me from every side. The same is true for you.
So while it may be hard to hold onto in the midst of financial crises and exams and the struggles of this life, remember today that You are in the hands of a mighty Creator who treasures every bit of who you are. He is working in us to make us into the men and women who will be most satisfied in Him. That may or may not mean you’ll get that award/promotion/record/first place. But in all things: Your worth is secure and His love for you will never change. Ever.