It’s that time of year… time for vacations and trips to the beach. I love the ocean and walking the beach collecting seashells. As I have grown in my walk with Christ, the seashell has become an important symbol in my life because it is the symbol of baptism. In our baptism, we are marked as God’s child and given the Holy Spirit, who is our Helper, our Guide, our own personal life Coach. Through the water of baptism, we become part of God’s family, the Church, we are part of something greater than ourselves. In order for God’s Church to grow and thrive, God gives each person at least one spiritual gift, not for personal gain but for the benefit of the church. What is your gift? Why has God brought you here to Trinity “for such a time as this”? (See the story of Esther)
When I collect shells, I pick up a shell, examine it carefully, because I like the unique ones, those with funny shapes or oddly colored, yes I even collect the broken ones. Shells that have been worn by the repeated waves until they are as smooth as glass, or those that are still new and rough, the ones with funny crevices, the ones I keep are not like all the rest, the ones that make the trip back home are distinctively different. Last year, as I went through this beachcombing shelling sifting process, a thought struck me, “Why is it that we search for the unique in life, yet we seem to discount people who are different? Why do we spend so much time and effort trying to fit in, to be just like others – to dress like them, look like them or act like them, yet when we collect our treasures we look for the unique?”
I wonder if God collects people the way that I collect seashells. Do you value your uniqueness or try to be like someone else? Do you treasure the uniqueness in other people or wish that they were more like you? While God calls us to be “Christ-like”, He doesn’t call us to be Jesus. God desires that we use our own uniqueness to build up “the body of Christ” in the world. God has created me to be “Rhonda Kay Hobbs” – unique, different, and for unique purpose. No one else has the exact same genetic code, no one else has the same thumbprint, and no one else has had the same life experiences. In the same way, God has created YOU to be YOU. No two people are exactly alike – not even identical twins.
Do you know the story of Rabbi Zusya who lived in the 1700’s? One day he said, “When I get to the heavenly court, God will not ask me, ‘Why weren’t you Moses?’ Rather he will ask me, ‘Why were you not Zusya?”
Who are you?
Why are you here?
You really are God’s gift to the world.
~ Shalom Rhonda
For it was You who formed my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; (Psalm 139:13-14a)