Friday, February 9, 2018

It's All Relative

When I was a preschool director years ago, I joked that I never enrolled a child of average intelligence. That statement alluded to what I often heard from new parents − "my child has above average intelligence." Sometimes that was actually true, but usually not.

There is something within most of us that doesn't want to be average, even when average is okay. We humans want to be unique, to be of special value, and the funny thing is the best way to do that is sometimes not to purposely try to stand out among the crowd. I'm thinking of Jesus.

Jesus was more than happy to teach us about God and how to live, but he did so without trying to stand out as special himself. He didn't brag, "I'm the son of God, so you better treat me like it!" Instead, it was his willingness to be part of the crowd that ultimately made him not just another face in it.

When my sons were young, I marveled at every accomplishment that was above average, or appeared to be. I even have a picture of my oldest son sitting up at 3 1/2 months. Now before anyone wonders, it wasn't that he had the strength or ability to do so. It was because he had such a round little belly, that when propped up, he only had one way to go and that was sideways! (Although sitting up wasn't really exceptional, he did begin to potty train early at 12 months, and that is true. He wasn't pushed; it was all his choice.)

A few days ago, this same son sent a picture of my grandson at just under 3 weeks of age. If I hadn't seen the picture, I would not have believed it − he's holding his bottle! It appears this isn't some fluke and is actually an exceptional feat, and I'm certain there will be many more such above average occurrences. But, while those of us who love him will smile with pride at whatever above average things he does, I'm hopeful he will be just one of the crowd who stands out because of it.

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