Yesterday I took a walk to not only shake a few pounds but stimulate my brain. As I’m enjoying the fresh air, I am struck by the wide variety of trees and leaves and how beautiful they all are.
It then occurs to me, why can’t we appreciate people the same way?
The woods I walk past are God planted, not man-made. The trees appear randomly placed. There are all kinds, shapes and colors. Some are evergreen magnolias, short scrub oaks, lanky pines and majestic maples. There are even more I can’t even name.
A few of them shed their leaves months ago. Others are in various states and transform daily. Some are unchanging yet provide the backdrop for the dynamic show.
I suspect God planted these different trees together for reason. Not that I will ever know what that is, but it certainly makes for a spectacular show.
We are just as diverse as the trees I walk past. We have various body shapes, skin colors, personalities, and backgrounds. Yet, God has placed us here to share this one earth.
What if the diversity among us is intended to make humanity better as a whole?
Many of us attempt to “convert” others into what we believe is proper. We tend to hang around people who fit our mold. We gravitate toward people like us. Very rarely do most of us dare deliberately talk and mingle with people different from ourselves.
Often if we see someone who dresses unconventionally, acts a bit “odd” or lives a lifestyle we think is “crazy” we will superficially judge them and readily write them off.
I have seen creative or “artistic” people scoffed at and challenged to do something “practical” instead of nurturing the gifts God has given them.
I don’t know that we do them a favor by declaring their gifts aren’t valuable profitable. Is it truly a favor or a disservice when we can’t appreciate the talents of others and attempt to herd them into what we “think” they should be?
Not everyone is hardwired to become an accountant, a lawyer or whatever is deemed “practical” on any given day. I know many “professionals” who are miserable working outside of God’s plans for them.
What if the individual quirks that make each of us distinct are there to serve a purpose?
When we dismiss people different from ourselves we lose opportunities to learn and grow in the process.
It may mean you have to do something different or talk with someone unlike yourself to receive a blessing you don’t even know you need.
As I look around at all the various trees they remind me of the “different” people God placed in my life. They have been of various religions, nationalities, races, economic status, political affiliations and only God knows what else.
Many of them blessed me at some of the hardest times of my life. A few influenced my thinking. One in particular encouraged me to face my challenges head on. Still, others made my daily routine that much easier to bear.
With all of our differences we somehow managed to find more common ground that not.
Through each one of them, so very different from myself, I realize I’ve been blessed.
“Thus saith God, the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:” Isaiah 42:5 KJV