I sit in the waiting area, listening to my nine-year-old son’s computer class. I’m mentally transported to my college freshman year Intro to Math course, where Dr. Widmar spoke to us, with his back always to the blackboard, in some special language that only computer geeks could understand. It was painful then and it’s painful now.
But, it’s hour three, and he’s responding to every question with the right answer. He’s the youngest kid in the class, the one with no previous computer experience, but he’s getting it. He understands.
I think that’s because this is what he was designed to do.
We tried baseball. Oh, wow, was that painful. He hated it, in every way. The batting. The fielding. Sitting on the bench. He looked cute though.
Years later he showed a bit of aptitude in the swimming pool, so we tried to talk him into swim team. No interest.
But, now, with a refurbished Dell laptop (gifted to him from some generous friends at our church) he’s finding his way in an activity he enjoys.
It’s as if this is what he was designed to do.
And, hearing him accurately answer the questions his teacher poses brings me great joy. Especially since all I hear is the teacher from Charlie Brown cartoons, “Wonk, wonk, wonk, wonk…”
He’s still young. His interests could change, new talents and skills may grow and develop. I really don’t know where his tinkering with an old Dell will lead, but I know not to expect him to dream of one-day wearing a Texas Rangers uniform.
And, that’s okay.
Accepting our Design
It’s easy to see in my son some of the way God has designed him. I don’t lament the fact that he has no interest in being the next Michael Phelps. And yet, in my own life sometimes I struggle to accept my own design. I bemoan the fact that God didn’t give me the legs of a supermodel, or the hands of a pianist. I feel like I’ve been “shorted” because I don’t have the talent of a singing sensation or the posture of a ballerina.
But, that wasn’t God’s design for me.
The older I get, the more clearly I recognize that God’s given me everything I need, physically to accomplish his purpose for my life. God didn’t design me to dance in the Nutcracker because that’s not the purpose he had for my life.
I can wrestle with him about why he didn’t give me six-feet of legs and thigh gap, or I can accept the fact that he didn’t need another model. He needed me to be a thick-thighed writer.
His Glorious Design
My son asked the question the other day, the one most skeptics throw at Christians. If God’s expectation is believing in Jesus, accepting his work on the cross as our pathway to salvation, how is that fair to the person who’s never heard. What about the native in a foreign jungle without access to the First Church of Whatever Denomination down the street.
Part of this answer is—God’s natural revelation. The Bible says that the heavens declare the glory of God and the earth shows his workmanship. God declares his awesomeness through his marvelous design of our world. The way he’s ordered the ocean’s tides, the sun’s warmth, and the natural cycles of plants gives us a great indication of grand design.
I’d never expect the trees to to start drooping to make themselves appear more dainty like the flowers.
Likewise, accepting our design is an important part of surrendering our will to that of our Creator.
In saying, “I’m okay with the way you made me, physically” we are taking a small step towards submitting to the purpose God has for our lives.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, worshipping our design isn’t the right option. When we use phrases like, “I’m so proud of my body” I think we may cross the line from worshipping the creator to worshipping the created. (Read Romans 1!) We aren’t called to bring glory to ourselves, but to bring glory to him.
In fact, this is where many body image issues find their root. In our fervent desire to find love through attaining a certain standard of beauty and believing that reaching this standard will somehow save us. That’s called body image idolatry.
One of the best ways to bring glory to him—examine our design and ask what he wants us to do with it?
Eric Liddel from Chariot of Fire faces a dilemma. His sister? Wants him to go to the mission field, but he’s a tremendous runner. They banter back and forth about which profession is best for the service of God. You get the impression that his sister believes it’s the mission field. But, Eric makes this statement, “When I run I feel he glory of God.”
God designed Liddel as a runner. And, when using his body in the way God designed he felt the most fulfillment.
How were you designed?