One of the traps we can fall into as suburban families is the trap called COMPARISON. Some people like to call it “Keeping up with the Joneses.” The cultural message sent to each suburban family goes like this:
- You are not enough how you are now,
- You must work harder and move faster than the next family to get ahead,
- You must look like everyone else to “fit in” or you will be an outcast,
- If your children are not “successful” (defined as the best in whatever they do) then you are a failure as a family.
Let me speak a pastoral word to you: THIS IS A LIE!
One of my favorite authors and spiritual directors is a Franciscan Friar named Richard Rohr. I read his daily meditations almost every day. This week he has been talking about thisness (Read the meditations here). It is the understanding that 1) God is not an abstract idea, but is physically present in all things, and 2) since God is present in everything, all created things are a unique and special creation and revelation of God. He says,
You can only know anything by meeting it in its precise and irreplaceable thisness and honoring it there. Each individual act of creation is a once-in-eternity choice on God’s part.
That means you. That means your family.
You are not a mistake. You are not a failure. No matter what challenges you have, or what issues that culture labels as “disabilities” or “deviations” you may feel that you carry, remember that God created you. You are a once-in-eternity revelation of God in the universe. By meeting you, I learn something about God that I wouldn’t learn from anyone else.
Contrast that to the suburban message above. Which one brings you more peace today?
Live well, unique revelation of God.