Want to know one of my biggest fears? Nope, not heights. Not the dark, tornados, or even those horrifying hornets that fly around the yard sometimes. (ew).
Here’s a hint:
I am basically the textbook definition of an introvert. This means I will send an I’m busy text when I’m at home doing nothing at all. It means I’m more likely to listen to you than talk to you. It also means I will take the long way around the store and waste five minutes of my life in the soup aisle just to avoid small talk.
With that being said my biggest fear is…
I am completely serious. I remember one day at school someone actually told me I was boring. At that moment my soul started collapsing as I tried to laugh it off, change the subject, and mask the devastation that had just crumbled inside me.
I scrunched my eyebrows and wondered if I really was boring. I don’t hang out as often as other kids in my class. I’m not really that funny. I don’t have many friends. I hate big parties. I don’t talk a lot to people. Wow, maybe I am.
From that day on, I have been paranoid of being boring. I push myself to be the brightest and most exciting human being possible. I pry open my tightly-wrapped introvert self like a clam, but by noon I am exhausted from forcing something that isn’t meant to be opened so quickly.
I work at a flower shop during my summers home from college. By far my favorite place is the greenhouse. Flowers burst out of their little black boxes and vines droop off the edge of tables. Lush hanging baskets hover above your head like cheerful, little UFO’s.
But what if the whole greenhouse was only flowers? And what if all the flowers were pink? It wouldn’t be anywhere near as breathtaking. Plus, not everyone likes the color pink. And without the vines, herbs, grasses, and succulents the greenhouse would feel extremely cluttered and overwhelming.
One of my favorite plants is called euphorbia. It’s plain white, doesn’t grow very tall, and the petals are about the size of a grain of rice. But I like euphorbia because sparkles against the dark leaves and soil. When planted next to bright flowers, euphorbia brings out their vibrance and complexity. In return, fancy flowers help to highlight the euphorbia’s simplicity and effortlessness. They compliment each other.
No doubt each flower is beautiful on their own, but together they can create a gorgeous garden.
I believe we are the same way. Our weakness is other person’s strength, just as our strength is other person’s weakness. How lame would it be if God made everyone the same flower? Imagine if I walked into the greenhouse and found 67 clones of me. Trust me, that would be boring. No flower is the same because they aren’t supposed to be, and neither are you.
“…let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” Romans 12:4-6 MSG
Embrace you—don’t change you. So what if you’re quiet? Maybe you know how to draw, care for children, write stories, or listen to the elderly. You’re talkative? Maybe you can sing, make people laugh, meet new friends, lead a group, or invent things. Whatever you are, you are important. We need the sun just as much as we need the moon.
Please, stay you. The beauty of this world is depending on it.
All I know is that I never want to walk into the greenhouse and see the same flowers.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” Philippians 1:6 MSG