Last night, I was sitting with the guys from Kingdom Journeys, a new Christian couple from Hawaii, and a few other friends from the Camino. We were sitting on the steps on the end of the town and I was thinking about our differences: personalities, backgrounds, education, gifts, etc… Initially, I want to look for value in them by their gifts – what they can do. Many times, that is how I have been valued. It’s easy to value others and yourself for their talents. “Fly with eagles” right? And you are a “combination of the 5 people you hang around most.” These quotes make you want to hang with people more gifted, smarter, and successful.
When you look are reminded we are all children of God (whether we recognize it or not) you start to see the beauty that is other people. Instead of judging someones personality as annoying, they become goofy. I think about the differences between me my brother and sister. We all excel in one area and are weak in others. Regardless of our giftings or faults we still love each other. When I remember that everyone around me is God’s child, it clicks. I want to love all people, regardless of our differences* as I would my brother and sister. Just love them. And not only the Kingdom Journeys team. But love James, a 19 year old Italian boy traveling with Rachel (a 32 yr old married lady with 3 little girls who left her husband to travel the Camino), Ned (a 26 yr old man from the U.S. Army who carries anger and bitterness), or the bikers out on the Camino who fly by shooting dust in my mouth.
I am my own greatest critic. I can project this judgement on others and prevent myself from really letting others into my life. I may not leave the Camino in 3 days a new man, but I am aware of how critical I am of myself. That my self-criticism can materialize in the way I perceive others. As I start to take the pressure off of myself, I stop thinking about all my flaws and how I could be better. Then I can start to really love others. The same way my brother and sister love me.
1 John 3:1
See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are!
If God created us, then he is our father.. We are all his children and that makes others my brothers and sisters. I’m working to love others with the same love I show my family. I’m learning to relax, ‘be’ more in the moment, and not to put so much pressure on myself and those around me.
Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. (NIV)
So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession.