[CF Devotionals] 2014-06-04 - Dare to Be Different

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When I was five years old, I learned that not everyone read their practice lettering sheets from school in the mirror, after they got home. My mother saw me doing that, and after complimenting my progress with lettering, later got in contact with my Kindergarten teacher - and they had a conversation of sorts, I do believe. I don't know what they talked about specifically, but I do know that when I was in school thereafter, some changes were made to my reading and writing instruction time. And after a second year in Kindergarten, I didn't need to use the mirror to read my papers anymore, yet it did seem to take me longer to get my writing and reading done.

Reading was never quite the same for me as it was with any of my classmates, even after correcting my reverse dyslexic pattern - as far as how it comes out on paper, anyway. As a child, I never got the feeling from my life at home, that there was anything different about me. Yet as time went on, in school, I began to learn about this difference. Unlike others that are generally considered variety and the spice of life, this difference was one that could cause people to behave in an unacceptably rude manner, if they chose to see it as a negative trait of mine. I began to feel the difference between my own reading challenges, and the manner in which other people were able to read, when I was in the middle of 6th grade, after we had moved to a new state and thus a new school. There were colors for each of the different reading groups, and in and of itself, it was harmless and done for the right reasons. I believe the intention was that no one be self-conscious about their reading speed, for whatever reason it might be. However, it doesn't take long for kids to begin to learn which color means what, regarding strength of reading skills based on speed. For the first time, I felt inadequate in my own reading ability, although I had come a long way since the start.

I think for most of us, we would all like to be accepted as the same as everyone else, in the sense of being part of a group, yet be considered different in our own individual talents. This is definitely not a worldly concept, which is more about “see you at the top”, “get there no matter who you step on” or the ever-prominent “play the game”. I never much fit into the real world manner of thinking, even as a child. While I had reading challenges, I was good at drawing - and at especially replicating what I saw in nature - and that might seem to be the perfect talent to use in the world of commercial art. Yet I am more a fine arts girl, due to the fact I would 1) drive myself crazy trying to get the work perfect and 2) would not be all that good at advertising, as described by dictionary.com: (noun) the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc. That really doesn’t interest me.

My plans for my life are not made by me, anyway. I didn't create myself, I didn't give myself my talents, I didn't set the world in motion - and so I'm not the center of it. I am to do the best I can, with what I am given, at any given moment of the time that I have in this body. I am part of something bigger than myself. I am a small part of a much larger whole. Just like the different parts of the human anatomy all have different roles, so my role within the context of everyone else is different. That can certainly be a challenge to see, in the small view I have of the overall picture, yet I know that “Somewhere Down the Road” (Amy Grant song) it will become clear how my role was an impact on the rest of the bigger picture. So perhaps literally seeing things differently as a child, was just a small way of reminding me that we are perfect, just how God made us - even when we start out needing to hold the assignment up to the mirror, to read it. I learned how to embrace what I have, and who I was made to be, and that I should always “dare to be different”.

“For the body is not one member, but many.
  1. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
  2. And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
  3. If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
  4. But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
  5. And if they were all one member, where were the body?
  6. But now are they many members, yet but one body."

    (I Corinthians 12:14-20 KJV)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:24 KJV)

Deborah Durrett

[email deborah] cfpraydeb@gmail.com

All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.

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