Mom has always loved flowers. Many things have changed as a result of her having dementia but one thing that remains constant is her love for them. Her favorite bouquets are a mix of assorted, colorful spring blooms. We try to keep fresh ones around for her to see.
Do you think that any of her flowers compete with each other as they grow in a garden? Does the tulip feel that it doesn’t measure up because it has so few petals? Does the carnation worry that its thick, ruffled blooms make it look fat? Does the salvia fret that it may be too tall? Does the bluebonnet feel limited by its humble lineage compared to the cultivated history of the rose?
Flowers don’t worry with comparison; they do what they were created to do. They develop, they grow, and they bloom. Each one is a living masterpiece.
You and I are different, too. We may have small differences; you may be taller. (I promise it wouldn’t take much.) We may have education differences; I hope to hang a third degree on the wall. We may have big differences; you may live in a third world country. We may have family differences; I grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father. Our differences may be many. We may look different, talk different, think different, and act different. But whatever our differences are doesn’t make one of us better. It simply makes us, well, different.
God absolutely wants us to be the best, but not to best someone else. His desire is for us to be the best version of ourselves, to use everything we have: our experiences, our talents, our gifts, our successes, and even our failures, to blossom into the unique person He created us to be.
He doesn’t want me to be the best speaker, the best writer, the best mother, the best wife or the best believer. He wants me to be the best Ann I can be. And He wants that same thing for you.
So, if you are worried about how you stack up against someone else, stop. You—not another copy of someone else—were created for this time, this place, this moment. Strive to develop yourself, to learn more, to love more, to do whatever it is you do better, but don’t measure yourself against anyone else. The only comparison worth making is with the you you were yesterday.
Message for the Journey:
A tulip doesn’t compete with the other flowers growing in the garden; it simply blooms. You aren’t the model in the magazine, you aren’t the neighbor down the street, you aren’t even your sibling. You are God’s unique, perfect creation. Don’t waste energy on comparison. Just bloom.
For we are God’ handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.