Oh, to be a Moon

One of my stupid pet peeves is author bios on the back of the book, or in the little inside flap- the placement doesn't affect the annoyance factor.  Inevitably the person is not only published, but also a sought after speaker at public events, currently going to school for a Master's in Psychology, a doting wife for 20 years and counting, a mother of 8 (half of which were adopted, all of whom she homeschools), fluent in 9.3 languages, has traveled to 16 countries, has had tea with the Pope, is an accomplished pianist, makes her own cloth diapers from the wool of the sheep on their farm, gives pottery lessons to underprivileged children while running marathons, and scrapbooks in her spare time (unless she feels like ice sculpting).

Well bully for you!

Part of me gets so annoyed because of how we value people in society.  So if you want to get a job or be qualified to write a book, or be valued as important we need to see your education credentials, family status, years of experience, charities you run, etc.  But it isn't really who we are- because we aren't defined by all that, we are made up of personality and struggles and soul.  Truthfully, lists of accomplishments sometimes mute our humanity- the way we really relate to all other people.

Even though I hate it, there is another part of me that reads those bios and desperately wants to measure up- but I always seem to fall short.  Really- deep down- maybe I'm a little annoyed at the bios because I want to be as bright and worth knowing as those authors.   I want this glory all to myself.   I struggle so often- wrestle so keenly- with this desire to be noticed and brilliant, to stand out and be someone that people like, or find attractive, or humorous, or worth something.  And it seems like such an important thing- THE important thing sometimes.

Yet I know deep in my heart that the glory is never meant to be mine- that it doesn't even belong to the authors with the shiny accolades and resumes or anyone else we might put on a pedestal.  That glory is all God's...and all my brilliance will be but a faint flicker in His light.  So how do I reconcile this juxtaposition of human glory with God's?

Several months ago I was standing in awe of the beauty of a full moon.  The sky opened wide and dark and clear- pale light flooded the yard and garden and field and trees... and I was mesmerized.

It was just so freshly amazing to me that the glowing beauty of the moon really belongs to the sun.  The moon was not made to create light, but to reflect it.  And even though its reflection is only the faintest bit as bright as the source- when the sun shines on the moon, the moon is glorious too.

And so it is with us- Jesus is this light- this unequaled light- and all the glory is His. But when He shines on us- we reflect His glory and we share in it.  And it doesn't matter what our accomplishments are, because the glory never comes from within us.  But as we live as we were made to, we reflect His light and we are as beautiful as we will ever be without any merit of our own.

So I neither have to strive to "be something", nor can I boast in my glory- but I can still enjoy doing what I've been made to do, and feel fulfilled in being a beautiful reflection of my maker.  And even though I don't create light- I can be light mirrored to the rest of the world.  Or at least the three peanuts that I'm raising.  Or to a husband coming home from work.  Or to friends I pass each day.  Maybe even to a stranger.  And I can accept that others will shine light on me as well- but as we each reflect the same light, we do not need to feel threatened or diminished by one other.  Even if the "other" has a list of accomplishments as long as the book she wrote.

John 1:5, 9-12 (NIV)

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God


     Ephesians 5:13-17(NIV)

13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”