“We’re all tempted to be assholes. Craving to be the boss. Desiring to climb the ladder. Jealous to call the shots. Pushing to stand in the position of influence.”
If there is anything I aspire to be in this world it’s this: I want to be different.
I can trace the roots of my obsession with uniqueness all the way back to elementary school lessons on self-esteem. Don’t we all long to be called and seen as special and treated as such? Obviously, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.
But what happens as we get older, or so I’ve noticed, is the message of “be you,” starts to translate in our adult mind as permission to possess more power and strive for success no matter the cost to those around us.
What was once an innocent declaration of our sacred humanity and identity now turns sour; now we want to be superior. Sharing our toys only becomes more difficult when money and reputations, businesses and relationships are thrown in the mix. As fully-grown humans we are no better than a group of grabby toddlers when it comes to thinking of others first before ourselves.
My desire to be different can take on a life of its own when left unchecked. I grow taller and bigger and more important, other people become an obstacle, or a competitor not a companion.
If we’re not attentive to the ways in which we are just like our neighbor, we begin to cross our arms with slight indignation, draw lines people cannot cross, and set ourselves up as the head of the table.
Could there be anything more contrary, dare I say demonic, than taking up such a posture?
In the life of Jesus I see a human who was different because he never denied his sameness.
Even his divinity he didn’t think to sacrifice connection but took on the very essence of love on the cross. With tears in his eyes and arms spread, God Himself engaged with us from a place of solidarity.
It’s thrown me for a loop to be sure, as I’ve always like to think of God as in control, powerful, a kind dictator, but still a dictator.
I’m chipping away at this picture of God though and beneath my faulty beliefs I’m discovering His power isn’t in the way he reigns over me, but in how he comes alongside me. His power is his self-giving love. Laying down his life for others equals success.
His hand reaches for ours and He wants real relationship not ruling authority.
As adventurers, pioneering a new path into the beautiful wild, we must come face to face with how our aspiration to be different and set apart is actually separating us from our fellow traveling companions.
The path of love we aspire to be walking on is laden with risks. There isn’t room for affluence, entitlement, or an independent spirit because the vision is no longer to come out ahead, but to stay together through our shared humanity.
“We are all interrelated and interconnected. We are children in the midst of a perilous adventure , and we are responsible for one another. Both unity and diversity are equally sacred realities. Finding our rightful place in this glorious web of mutuality is a cause for celebration.”