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Original or Carbon Copy?

July 21, 2017

Have you ever heard a quote that just nestled itself within the deep recesses of your mind, pleading with you to notice its value and life-changing potential? If you, like myself, have a love for words, then at some point you have probably experienced this phenomena. Let this one settle over your spirit and marinate for a season --- “All of us start as originals but end up carbon copies.” When I heard this, its truth reverberated with my soul, and I knew it was a keeper, one of those you return to often, allowing it to continually wash over you in a way that demands recognition.

Somewhere along this journey of life we have forgotten the ancient truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and created as an original for unique and specific purposes. The greatest artist of all time created a masterpiece when He designed each of us; He meant for each of us to stand out as an original creation. But instead we’ve convinced ourselves that we are meant to blend in to our environment; we’ve exchanged our originality for group mentality. Conform, blend in, move forward with the group of least resistance, run with the pack. Could it be this mindset has been our downfall? By all of us following each other, have we missed out on how each of us uniquely could impact our world for good? Quite possibly, the lack of joy and peace in our lives is directly related to our choice to refuse the road of originality set by our Creator.

You’ve heard the stories of two individuals who both came from the same horrific, devastating background as each other. One travels in the path that his/her story appears to dictate, becoming a statistic. Everyone states it was expected; their demise was determined because of their environment; the outcome was expected because that was the norm. However, the other rises above, stands against the crowd, chooses a unique road that establishes them as an oxymoron to the dictation of his/her upbringing. Consequently, their life becomes an inspirational story that motivates and encourages others to live beyond the status quo; in fact to live in a way that defies the stats. We know this and yet we still acquiesce to the crowd. I heard another quote that spoke volumes to this topic; Charles Bukowski stated, “Wherever the crowd goes, run the other direction. They’re always wrong.” Obviously, this is a huge generalization, but there is a lot of truth to it. More than likely what really makes your heart come to life is something completely separate from the push and shove direction of the crowd.

Have you ever noticed the sheer beauty of a soaring eagle as it exquisitely patterns a path in the sky? Interestingly, it reaches new heights all by itself. (I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a flock of eagles.) The flight of this majestic bird can mesmerize us, causing us to long deep within for the truth of who we are and what we were each meant for --- to soar, utilizing our own uniqueness and claiming our originality. It’s a breakthrough for the soul as true joy permeates our being; we become more at peace with ourselves and with our Creator, and a desire to encompass all that He designed us to be takes precedence.

In a movie I watched years ago with my now grown daughter, there was a line that I absolutely loved. “Why do you try so hard to fit in were you were meant to stand out?” So I ask us the same question with a twist. Would you rather be a carbon copy of someone else? Or would you rather seize that originality--- the giftedness, traits, and qualities that are distinctly you --- that the greatest artist of all time created you to be? When put like that, it makes the decision easy, doesn’t it? So go on --- stand out, embrace your uniqueness, and shine bright!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. “ --- Psalm 139:13-14

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