Oct 30, 2010


Last Sunday we were down in Orlando and attended our old church.  It was great to be able to see our friends from before the Tallahassee relocation.  And I also enjoyed being in the service.  It is a different style of preaching and worship than what we experience up here every Sunday.  Sometimes it is good to go to a different church every so often - it kind of jars you out of complacency.

Anyway, during the sermon, Pastor Byron was talking about The Transfiguration story from Matthew 17 (and Mark 9 and Luke 9).  The story itself wasn't what hit me.  During the story at one point, God speaks down from Heaven and says, "This is my beloved Son..."  Byron went on to explain that beloved means "priceless and unique."  When he said that, I started thinking about that word.

My name means "Beloved of God."  I like my name - always have.  I know some kids imagine changing their name.  But I like my name.  I don't like shortening it to Dave or anything.  I think part of that is the association with King David in the Bible - one of my favorite characters.  And part of it is that I learned what my name meant very early on in life.  When your name means something like "beloved of God," it is hard to think it needs changed.  I mean, can you get better than that?  I can understand if your name meant something dumb.  But I like my meaning.

Hearing that beloved means priceless and unique, really struck home.  I am priceless to God.  I am unique to Him.  I started thinking.  Over the years in the church, I have heard so many sermons and lessons about how we are these small weak things.  Pastors almost go over the top to establish the fact that we are pathetic.  We have nothing worthwhile to offer.  We are almost like scum.  God's bigness is talked about a lot - from Francis Chan to Louie Giglio.  In addition, God doesn't need us.  He will see His plan realized with our without us.

There is truth in this.  Paul calls us worms and talks about how our goodness is like wound wrappings.  But that doesn't really take into account how God treats us.  Look at Creation.  God doesn't lump people in with everything else - just another cog in the universe.  We are special.  We are the only creature that God wanted to have a relationship with.  We are the only ones Christ died for.  God does see us as priceless and special.  He loves us and desires to be with us.  Isn't that amazing?

I know there are some people who have trouble believing in God.  I never really have.  I mena, just look around.  It is pretty hard to believe that this incredible world just randomly popped up.  The reality of God, to me, is not a hard concept.  The thing that really is hard to wrap my mind around is the fact that this Creator of the Universe, this huge massive God, wants me to spend time with Him.  He wants me to talk to Him and pray to Him and sing songs to Him.  That is just bizarre.

Take President Obama.  I don't give a warbling hoot what you feel politically, if the President were to call you, it would blow your mind.  Now imagine this President kept on calling you, emailing you, sending you presents.  The "leader of the free world" wants to spend time with you - just some random person.  Things like that just don't happen.  God wanting to do that is even more unbelievable.  But that is exactly what He does.

He sees me as priceless and unique.  Yes, there are other people with similar skill sets and personalities.  But there is no one else exactly like me.  My combination of talents, gifts, passions, dislikes, experiences, opinions, friends, history, family, decisions make me completely different than anyone on this planet.  My wife and I are very close.  We spend a ton of time together and have more than ten years of marriage in our history.  But look at how different we are.  I mean, we only have 269 friends in common on Facebook.  That's a lot, but that means we both have almost 400 people different.  Even twins have a long list of things that make them different - even if the only difference was their own perspective on shared history.

God made me for a unique purpose.  He has a relationship with me.  I'm not some worthless weasel that has ingratiated himself to a ruler.  He chased me.  He called me.  He wants to work with me and use me. And He made me in such a way that I will have an impact on my world that no one else can have.  I am His beloved - his priceless and unique one.

I don't know about you, but there are definitely days when that thought makes all the difference.  You may have an exciting life with high stakes meetings and million dollar negotiations.  But for right now, most of my days are spent trying to manage three kids in tiny apartment and not get overrun with dishes, toys, and laundry - all while staying sane and controlled.  That is hardly something that would draw the attention of a big shot, let alone God.  To know that even in this place in life, when it is easy to feel useless and alone, God Himself looks down and sees me as a priceless and unique part of His heart.  That's one heck of a name to have.

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