Pooh is a compulsive eater.
Tigger is ADHD.
Eeyore is clinically depressed.
Piglet has an anxiety disorder.
Rabbit is OCD.
At first, we were like “Why are the characters so insane? Is this even good for our kids?” But we quickly realized this: if all the characters were ‘normal’, it would be the most boring movie of all time.
A bunch of people sitting around chatting amicably about topics they hold in common. Forget the fact my kids wouldn’t sit through that, I’d be demanding a refund for wasting my life.
I think in Christianity, sometimes we’re trying to do exactly that: make everyone into the image of Christianity that seems right to us. How in the heck is God going to tell the story he has with such boring characters?
I used to go to a church where we had some people who I considered to be certifiably insane. But you know what? I remember those people. I remember the wacky stuff they did occasionally. I can’t tell you one story about a guy who I noticed that showed up each week, sat quietly through service and then left. There were hundreds (maybe thousands) of men and women who did that.
But the guy who once brought a huge long sword to the Saturday night worship meeting to wave it instead of a flag? I remember him. The guy who showed up one Sunday morning drunk, let his dog loose in the sanctuary and started yelling his dog was Jesus? Yep, I remember that guy.
I’m not saying we should be crazy for the sake of craziness, or that showing up for church drunk is a good idea.
I am saying that stories are only worth telling if they are compelling. Adventures and challenges make life worth living. That’s why ‘accepting Jesus’ isn’t the end of your life. It’s a beginning. With new challenges and adventures.
We all have some area(s) of our life where we’re a little different. Don’t hide it! Jesus talked about cutting off your hand if it causes you to sin, not because of your uniqueness.
The bible doesn’t call us to conform, it calls us to be transformed (Romans 12:2). In other words, break out!
We should not seek to be a bowl of popcorn kernels, each one the same as the next, but rather a bowl of popped popcorn: each one different from the others. There are some similarities, sure, but not identical. Some people like the half popped kernels, some like the ones that have a compressed dome shape, some prefer the ones that exploded the largest.
God is telling a story, and it isn’t a story about how he made everyone act and think the same way.
God is working in my life to bring forward the version of me that he wants to exist. He’s working in your life to bring forth the version of you that he wants. And the fact that we’ll be totally different isn’t a good thing…it’s a great thing.
So be unique, be different, be you. Because the only characters in the story I’m going to remember will be the unique ones.