By Denae Jones –
I heard someone say that the common abbreviation OCD should no longer stand for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. They said by today’s standards, OCD should stand for Obsessive Comparison Disorder, because so many people seem to have repeated and obsessive thoughts about comparing themselves to others. There is a lot of truth to that.
The old expression, “Keeping up with the Joneses’” would refer to the desire to have something as nice as someone else’s in your neighborhood. Somehow, it shifted to a much larger spectrum that jumped outside our neighborhoods and now compares us to the rest of the world. Now we are supposed to be “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” who are extremely wealthy, famous, and basically get everything they want. (Personally, I have no desire to keep up with that.)
These days, social media and Pinterest make it look like everyone else wakes up beautiful, has a perfect family, clean house, organic meals on the table, great relationships, crafts beautiful projects in all their spare time, and is rocking every area of life. Then we look around at the reality of what life looks like in our home and feel a little sub-par. Like we are failing in all the ways everyone else is succeeding. I want to lovingly tell you to stop doing that!
That is not real life. Those people you see probably took 20 pictures to find the right one to post, then edited the heck out of it so it will look perfect. Everyone has a few bad days, unstable relationships, family problems, unhealthy meals, and lazy moments. Everyone. They just usually don’t put all that out there for the world to see.
My husband and I were talking about how weird it is to think that in about 115 years or so, every living person on Earth will be gone and an entire new population will take our place. I wonder what the history books will have to say about us? What kind of evidence are we leaving of the life we lived? Did we make a difference? Will they think we were ordinary or extraordinary?
The definition of ‘extraordinary’ is going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary. By that definition, do you know what’s not extraordinary? People who are trying to be like everyone else. Why don’t we strive to be different? More importantly, let’s strive to make a difference.
Let’s cut ourselves some slack when we put fast food on the table, or we forget it’s picture day and send our kid to school looking like they just wrestled with a bobcat. And lost. Let’s realize that we aren’t going to be the best at everything, look amazing all the time, and have perfect relationships. Let’s not think we have to keep up with anyone. None of that stuff is going to make a difference in 115 years. Let’s be genuine.
You know how to make a difference? Serve your purpose. There is a reason we are alive right now in this moment in the world’s history. We all have something to offer that the world needs. Mother Teresa once said, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” Making a difference starts at home. Then it spreads. Is our difference positive or negative? Are we influencing people with our time, talent, listening ears and kind words? Or are we polluting them with gossip, bad tempers, and hurtful memories? What have we been given that our family, community, social media friends, or our world needs?
Scott McCreery recorded a song called “Five More Minutes”. It talks about different times in our lives when we would do anything for just five more minutes. How we spend our time here is so important. When we think about what we would do with just five more minutes, it brings what’s really important into focus. Are we doing the best that we can in the ways that really matter? Lifting others up. Being positive. Reaching out. Sticking by our morals. Not selling out. Being a good example. Loving well. Those are the things that make us extraordinary. Those are the things that will matter in 115 years, because they will influence others for a positive change in the world. Having the best selfie on Instagram won’t.
Christine Caine is a world-renowned evangelist, author, public speaker, and a founder of the A21 campaign to stop human trafficking. She has done a lot of extraordinary things. But when she had thyroid cancer, she shared what she was thinking as they wheeled her back to the operating room. Of everything she had done in life, what actually mattered when she thought it might be the end? She said she spoke to God and said, “I hope I did everything you put me on the earth to do, and I hope I’m bringing everyone home (to heaven) with me that I’m supposed to be bringing home.” That’s it.
What matters most to us? Are we making time for it? There’s no better time than now.
Have a blessed week, friends!