What’s the use of being different amidst a mass of other unique individuals? Do you feel that your influence is minuscule when you look around at the large communities around you that seem absolutely immovable?

Me too.

However, being a transplanted Texan up in Michigan, it’s incredibly easy for snow to inspire me to wonder (and fear of course).

Our first snow last year was magical. I’ve never seen snowflakes so massive! You could easily see the shapes and patterns in each individual snowflake.

Nature is a wonderful teacher.

A single snowflake by itself may be beautiful, but it certainly isn’t powerful. How many times have you seen roads and schools closed from a single snowflake? (Well, maybe back home in Texas!)

The most powerful effect is a direct result of thousands upon thousands of the little masterpieces coming down together. That’s when they get noticed. That’s when their presence demands a response.

Is this to say that individuals are weak by themselves? Of course not! Does one snowflake lose its potential or beauty because it’s part of something bigger than itself?

So what?

Of course, being in seminary, my first inclination is to apply this analogy to the Christian walk with Jesus.

We are just like the snow. You are a beautiful, unique, one in a trillion, intentionally made masterpiece. God created you, loves you, and delights in you.

But don’t stop there.

Yes, you’re unique. Yes, you’re beautiful. Yes, you’re a special snowflake. But have you ever stopped and wondered why you have the specific talents that you do? Perhaps it’s genetic, but that line of logic seems to undermine your uniqueness. Your parents influence you directly, but you’re not an exact replica.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, your uniqueness is of its highest value when gathered with others that are different from you.

Surrounding yourself with people that think like you do is extremely common. There’s no stress in saying what you think, because you know that those around you will agree. However, there’s a lack of growth in these situations. You can’t learn effectively from someone who knows what you know.

Growth takes place when the comfort zone is expanded. Rather than excluding your uniqueness to others of “similar uniqueness,” try intentionally spending time with those you know to have a different worldview than your own.

When part of something larger, a person’s specialty should not be lost, or muted to fit the “norm” of the group. Rather, one’s God-given strengths should be utilized and nurtured. No one is perfect at everything, which is why the group dynamic is of utmost importance and value. Where one is weak, another is strong. If a foot cannot provide sight, does that render it useless? Of course not! Each part of a group is important in its own way.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them.
Romans 12:4–6a

In the coming New Year, I challenge you to be like the snow. Retain the wonderful blessings that God has created you with. But don’t stop there. As believers in Christ, with the grace of Him who delights in us, we can join together and become an effective group of individuals.

 

Jonny has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2009. He is currently enrolled in the MDiv. program at the Andrews University Theological Seminary.

 

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