Size, Similarity, and Synergy
So there I was doing some navel gazing, it's a sort of thing that happens to me every now and then. Think about it. In navel gazing you’re looking in wonder at what was once the source of nourishment while you were created! Amazing things are these belly buttons – real food for thought (excuse the pun). Its healthy to engage in this activity now and then, quite apart from helping keep the belly button clean, it lets you focus on the little things, the forgotten things (and I’m not talking about belly fluff). Well, there I was, gazing, and it occurred to me that we live a life pre-occupied by size and similarity.
It’s paradoxical, we laud scale as if it were equal to importance, bigness being automatically something of significance. But then we try as much as possible to make ourselves like each other: as in “I’ve got to be fashionable; everyone else does it; I haven’t been overseas yet and everyone else has; my cell phone is so old I’m embarrased to use it in public; my navel is not as tanned as other peoples”, and so on and so on. We promote difference to the point that you’re odd if you’re not different – difference is the new normal. Talk about a contradiction in terms!!! It’s stupid, I thought in my preoccupied navel perspective.
One of the reasons is that anything somewhat similar in large quantities just becomes a blur of sameness. Look at snow … I mean we’ve got a nice covering of snow on the mountains this week, and what does it look like? White. Sameness. Boring after the initial facination. And take rock, now there’s a boring object, not so? But if you just took a moment to navel gaze about rock or snow, you’d find a marveless new world. Each snowflake unique, crafted in delicate design, a customized expression of creation! And rocks, made of the most wonderful small grains of crystal.
This is where we get stupid about Christ! Everyone around us is saying “oh, it’s all the same, each religion leads to God, all gods are the same, just be spiritual.” Until you just don’t notice the uniqueness of Jesus anymore. And then we lose sight of the uniqueness of the individuals who make his Body here. Instead we focus on the hugeness, denominations, institutions. But in reality they’re just lots of you and me.
Paul, in talking about this world in his letter to Timothy says, “[they] will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables”. But the fables are like a fog rising off an unseen snow pack underneath – what they see is a nebulous nonsense. BUT, if they looked more closely, they would see unique snowflakes, which in synergy could form a storm which can blanket a country under white purity. But a snowflake alone merely melts into a dirty droplet of water. When was the last time you looked at your navel?
1. Navel: a depression in the middle of the abdomen that marks the point of former attachment of the umbilical cord to the embryo, called also umbilicus; Gazing: to look steadily and intently, as with great curiosity, interest, pleasure, or wonder.