I was reminded yesterday that I am a fringe person. I notice the people on the fringes. This, apparently, is an admirable quality. To be honest, I struggle being here. I think my entire life has been about trying to fit in, instead of standing out. Why? That's a good question. Let me tell you.
Its because sometimes the loneliness of sticking out is too painful. At Catalyst Rob Bell talked about the 9 words in Exodus 20. (aka the 10 Commandments). He talked about how in Jewish tradition, number 10 was really a reward for obeying the previous 9. what's word 10? It's the "do not covet your neighbors _______" Don't want what your neighbor has. Why is this a reward? Because when you are doing what God has asked you to do, you do not want to be anyone else.
You do not want to be anyone else. I confess there are many days I want to be someone else. Its true that many people are never content with what they have been given. If you have straight hair, you want curly. If you have curly you want straight. If you are single, you want to be married, if you are married you want to be single. If you are a career mom you want to be a stay-at-home one and if you are a stay-at-home mom, you want to have a career.
Its a vicious cycle that I get sucked into almost on a daily basis. Its a constant struggle to remind myself that what I have, now, is good. When Paul says in Philippians that he's learned to be content no matter the circumstances--I so want to ask him how he learned it! However, I have a feeling I wouldn't like his answer.
If I keep my eyes on Jesus...the rest of the world grows strangely dim. If I keep my eyes on Jesus...I can love those fringe people. If I keep my eyes on Jesus--I do not want to be anyone else.