- Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's Okay To Be You

Image taken at Whitby, United Kingdom. (c) Jonathan Chu, 2012 

There is a voice in our head that always compare ourselves to those around us. Oftentimes, we find ourselves speaking as it speaks. We agree with its words, and repeat those words so many times we believe in it.

I find myself in this situation always. I look at some of my friends and think that by human standards, their qualities are great because they make them human. For example, I have friends who absolutely adore animals. They get very angry when they see animals being abused. They help at animal shelters. They take pictures of their beloved pets...

But I don't. I don't adore animals that much. I don't find reason why I should be wrathful when I see animals abused. Sure I don't condone it, but I can't bring myself to be angry. I don't feel for animals like my friends do.

And that makes me wonder if I'm human at all. If there's something wrong with me at all.

I have friends who talk about how politics can change a country. They are the passionate ones who go for courses and competitions, network and be visible to top figures. They talk about the 5-minute elevator situation, about campaigns to get leaders to hear them out, go across different countries to network with like-minded people. But I don't find reason in doing that. Sure I can force myself to see a reason, but what good will that be for me and the society I'm in?

When I hear about the excitement from them, I wonder - if there is something wrong with me.

There isn't. I'm just not wired that way. While people can get upset that I don't share their sentiments, I shouldn't be swayed by what they think - I wasn't made that way.

I was made to love music. To love the touch of the keyboard, strings, sounds. Whether I'm good at music or not is a story for another day. But just the chance to play on stage with great musicians, the chance to be alone with a piano, to be alone in a room listening to great music, to be in a live performance, to create music... that's breathing to me; that's how I was wired.

While I can get sad that I'm not how my friends think I should be, while I can feel sorry for myself for the things I'm missing because I'm not like my friends and not sharing their sentiments... I can use that time to work on myself and be a better person and musician. Because I'm sure as hell the Creator did not make me to be so in love with something just for the sake of being in love with it.

I'm sure He made me to love it so that I can use it for His glory. And nothing else. Not so that my friends will accept me. Not so that my friends will think I'm acceptable in their eyes, or if I'm normal at all.

Truth is, I'm fearfully and wonderfully made, so they are in no position to question that. They'll be questioning God instead.

I am writing this because I was looking at the great friends I have today. All their skills, the things they love doing, the things that make them human, and I felt bad for myself. It then hit me that their stories are for the Creator to write. How He chose to write their stories is none of my concern, and my story is His to write. I need not compare their stories with mine. What goodness will it bring anyway?

Each story is different. It is meant to be. That's the beauty of it, for like all roads lead to Rome, all stories lead to the glorification of God and God alone.

So live your life, fight until you drop, be compassionate, feel, let yourself stumble, fall and rise again, give yourself room to make mistakes and improve, and be okay with how you were wired. God did not make us to be like others; He made us to be original, so that each of our stories will be different and shine brighter than stars. So that each of our stories will bring encouragement and give the extra push to those who need to be inspired.

To us, our stories may seem boring. But to others, they will inspire, bring life, put a smile on their faces, give them a reason to fight another day.

And most importantly, to God. We will be His worshipers who bring good testimonies that glorify His name. Our stories will be like trumpets, giving praise to His purpose, His will, His direction, His Son, Him.

Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
1 Peter 4:11 (MSG)

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