People come in all shapes and sizes. People come from all types of families. People come with baggage and dreams and celebrations and rough-edges. People come with purple hair and no hair and sprayed-on hair. People are a mixed-up, mashed-up, thrown together blend of everything and the kitchen sink.
This is part of what makes life so interesting.
Somewhere out there is someone who is just as goofy, just as confused, just as professional, just as athletic, just as you name it, as you.
When we find our kindred spirits we tend to gather together and form teams and families and churches and clubs and all sorts of groups. We stick together with those like us, and generally avoid those on the outside of our cliques. This is natural and it likely has something to do with some inherited caveman survival strategy.
But none of this (or little enough anyway) is what makes life interesting.
The magic happens when some spunky soul opens up the door and invites in the stranger…the other…the one who is different and doesn’t belong. Because it is in the otherness of the other we come to appreciate our own gifts and see the value of gifts we do not possess. It is in the otherness of the other we find a world filled with more than what we know. In the otherness of the other we experience diversity and complexity and variety (the spice of life, right?).
The bravest among us seek out the different and the strange. They learn from those who are unusual. Those who don’t fit the mold. Those who dance to the beat of different drums.
And this is a good thing. So much more interesting than everyone doing and thinking and dreaming the same thing.
So I’m advocating this Lenten season, we all search out someone we don’t think we have anything in common with. Find someone who will challenge you and push you to think new thoughts. Seek out the one whose very existence calls into question your assumptions, your doctrines, your beliefs.
Because life is more exciting when we throw some fruit into the granola, when we gather with others, especially those who add a unique flavor, an unique perspective, an unique way of being in the world.
Life is better together,
Another Lent, another opportunity to reflect and wrestle and grow. Here are the words I’ll be using to wind my way through the wilderness this year.
Check out a few of my friends taking this journey with me…