Be different. This is a philosophy I’ve learned to embrace as I’ve gotten older. Like a lot of people, I’ve spent way too much time in the past trying fit in, looking for acceptance. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized the only reason I wanted others to accept me was because of my own insecurities. I wasn’t confident in who I was as a person. That’s why I simply decided to be who (I thought) others wanted me to be instead of who I knew I was.
Who was I?
I promise I am not going to start talking about how we are all special little snowflakes – all different in the ways God made us. I love the scene in Fight Club, when Chuck Palahniuk says, “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else.”
But if we’re only decaying matter, where does that leave us?
Isn’t there something more?
My whole life I went to church with my parents, tried to be a “good Christian,” and said my prayers before bed. I heard all the Bible stories in church about Jesus healing the lepers, feeding the 5,000 with a few fish and loaves of bread and walking on water. Yet I knew that wasn’t enough.
Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I decided to take ownership of my faith. I knew I needed to discover Jesus as he really was, so I started studying the Bible every morning and really dove into the passages head first to examine the man as he truly was.
Here’s what I learned: Jesus was a different cat.
He didn’t act one way when he was around the Pharisees and another way when he was around his fisherman buddies. Jesus was who he was and made no apologies. (And – you’re right — he wasn’t the most popular person.)
So what am I getting at?
I know these things are both true.
God made you uniquely different from everyone else. Not like a snowflake that lasts a few seconds and disappears. But as a person with an eternal soul, someone who can learn and change and develop in interesting ways.
It’s also true that we’re all decaying matter with a definite shelf life.
Since we’re not going to last forever, we need to embrace the part of us that is real.
Over the last several years, I’ve realized I’m goofy and pretty freakin’ weird. But I also know who I am as a man, how I want to live my life, and that I’m okay if you don’t like me because life is way too short to spend it searching for acceptance. You may never get it, and it might not last. (As C.S. Lewis said, “Don’t let your happiness rest on something you can lose.”)
In other words, you aren’t only a “special little snowflake” or simply a decaying blob of organic matter.
Your worth comes from somewhere else – and you can’t lose it.
So let your freak flag fly!