Back in elementary school, kids frequently got pulled out of class for various reasons. There were always people coming and going: bathroom breaks, trips to the nurses office, delivering the attendance and lunch count to the office, help with reading. But more noteworthy were the times when a couple select children would leave the room at the same time to go to a special class for gifted kids. They never said much about it, and I was too self-absorbed to be curious about it (those projects weren’t going to magically cut themselves out of construction paper).
These were the kids who were known as brainy or creative. They weren’t shunned because of it, they were respected, even admired. There was the tall, Amazonian girl with the flowing red hair, the preppy blond boy with ruddy complexion and quick wit, the shy girl with the notebook of beautiful sketches. They were mysterious, dynamic and exclusive; not just anyone could be a part of their special club. You couldn’t simply perform a dare and prove your worthiness; it required an assessment administered by professionals. I wanted to be gifted. I wanted to a part of their club. And when it didn’t happen, I felt it. I felt less special because I wasn’t as special as they were.
Dash, in the movie The Incredibles, is in elementary school and has a hard time restraining his special superpower: speed. His mom, Helen (the mild-mannered alter-ego persona to her Elastigirl), lectures him in the car, goes on about how he must conceal his secret powers. He wants to be special. Helen tells him that everyone is special. Dash replies, “Which means that nobody is.”
If everybody’s special, does that mean that nobody is special?
What’s so wrong with being ordinary?
There is a belief subtly creeping into Christian circles that if you are obedient and genuinely follow God, He will bless you. You’ll be successful, you’ll be wise and avoid major pitfalls in life, you’ll be affluent. Nevermind that the Bible teaches, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 and don’t freak out just yet, I don’t usually throw Bible quotes around.) The belief that we will be outwardly successful is a twist on the already insidious Prosperity Gospel that leads to disillusionment and doubt.
I’ve seen too many true followers of Jesus have heart-wrenching struggles and calamities to buy into Prosperity Theology or the Health and Wealth Gospel. It implies that if you just believed more, you wouldn’t get passed over for that promotion. If you just prayed more diligently, your child wouldn’t get that disease, your house wouldn’t catch on fire, or that cute boy would like you.
It doesn’t happen like that.
We aren’t special because of the external things that have gone well for us. We aren’t ordinary because we live regular lives. We are all special (and we are) because we are made in the image of God, called by Him to wholeness and a true identity in Christ. We are most fully released to be most true selves when we internalize our status as thoroughly adored by the Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves.
That’s one reason why I love the title of this blog: www.aroyaldaughter.com She understands her true identity. Ultimately, she is a royal daughter. She is (at risk of sounding corny) a princess.
Being a Royal means that you might live differently, more confidently, willing to take risks, more engaged in the world around you. You might have more compassion or be in tune with places that need support and then feel equipped to do something about it. You might be more appreciative of all the good around you that you had nothing (or very little) to do with and yet it is yours to benefit from and enjoy. You might choose to speak in a way that befits one with a royal lineage.
So since you are made in the image of God, whether you actively follow Him or not, how might that make you more awake today? What thoughts could you think, what things could you do if you believed that you were in fact, royalty?