One of a Kind?  

Yesterday at the lake, I saw a dog fetch rocks. He would bury his face in the water and come up with a rock in his mouth. (Not little rocks, but amazingly big rocks.) He brought each one to shore, piling them on the beach near his owner. He took great joy in this endeavor. When it was time to leave, he insisted on carrying one souvenir rock to the pickup truck.

You couldn’t help but like this dog who was like no other. He didn’t stop to consider what impression he would have on those around him, he simply enjoyed being the dog God created him to be.

Recently, I read a Facebook post from a young woman I know talking about cruel words someone used with her daughter causing tears of anguish. It made me contemplate how much we allow critical assessments and negative responses from people to mold and shape us. Often in our preteen and teen years we change or suppress characteristics and attributes to please others, to be accepted by our peers, because we want to be “liked.”

I am frequently inhibited by the eyes of other people. But it seems likely that God desires us to be the person He created us to be, not stifled by the opinions of other people. It makes sense that we should be molded and shaped by God alone.

I am currently working on an essay about all the twists and turns my life has taken as I avoid “looking the fool.” Decisions that set the course… where I went to school, what jobs I applied for, what I tried and didn’t try. Most of this is before Christ, but even in Christ self-consciousness can take control.

Stepping forward in ministry can be halted by doubting our capability in a situation. When I was asked to pray with people after church my heart was gripped by fear. At that time, I was just learning to pray out loud with fellow believers and thought that people would not think me eloquent enough if they came to me for prayer. My husband would tell me to take my eyes off myself and put them on Jesus.

This “self” issue is something worth sorting out. Scripture teaches us to “deny self” (Matthew 16:24). describes this as “the natural human inclination toward selfishness,” such as accumulating material possessions rather than living modestly so we might give to those in need.

This doesn’t seem to mean giving up personality traits and the skills and gifts that make us unique. We are created in God’s image. We have attributes and characteristics in common with Him. One is creator. We all are creative and desire to create in some way.

I must write. This passion seems to be part of my DNA. It is who I am.  

Once I read that we often describe ourselves by our vocation and roles but that isn’t really who we are because this could change. After reading that I thought, for a while, I should not introduce myself as a writer. But it seems to me that certain things are part of our makeup. Our status may change, or our ability to do something may change, but that doesn’t mean those roles, vocations, and creative endeavors aren’t a piece of the puzzle that makes us, us.  

©2023 Susan Cort Johnson *All Rights Reserved

Photo by geralt on Pixabay

Let’s Talk:

1-What makes you one-of-a-kind?  

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