For several years, I carried a small stone in my pocket. It wasn’t a diamond or ruby, but it served an important purpose, which made it valuable to me. Occasionally, I pulled it out and showed it to someone.
I turned the stone and let the light shine off its colorful, polished surface. “Don’t you think this stone is pretty?”
With a head nod or a few words, the person agreed.
“I like it so much,” I said, “I’m going to get another one exactly like it.”
A look of skepticism was followed by, “You can’t do that.”
“I guess you’re right.” I did my best to appear disappointed. “Of all the beautiful stones on Earth, not one will have exactly the same color, pattern, and shape.”
The stone served as a constant reminder to me and others that none of us are exactly alike. People make molds and stamp out duplicate copies in mass production, but God has never done that. Even identical twins have different voices, thought patterns, and fingerprints.
I once read about a young high school student who was chosen because her IQ was the lowest they had ever seen. She wasn’t mentally impaired, but her grades were terrible. Why? Because she didn’t think like most people. Adjusting to the school’s standard curriculum was impossible until she quit trying to be like others and harnessed the power of her own way of thinking. Then she began to understand the material and solve the problems. To the surprise of those who knew her, she graduated from high school. Even more were amazed when she went to college and graduated at the top of her class.
That one-of-a-kind stone led me to accept a reality that is difficult for many. I can learn from others, but I can never be exactly like them. The best I can do is ask God’s help in becoming a better “me.”
I praise you, Lord, because of the awesome, unique way that you created me. You did wonderfully well, and my whole being knows and declares this truth. — Psalm 139:14 Frank Ball paraphrase