Sometimes I fall into the trap of comparing my life and myself to other people and their lives. Looking to others' lives to find out how mine should be is my misplaced desire to know who I am, to find out if I'm pretty and happy, if my life is adventurous and meaningful. What I'm yearning for is the truth of my Father's affirming love, to abide in him so he can show me who I am and my road to holiness. What I get instead from comparison is distraction, sin and confusion.
If I come out on top in the comparison, pride takes over and I don't love. If I come out on bottom, jealousy wreaks havoc in my heart and I don't love. I can only find myself and life in God, but with comparing I'm distracted, chasing after being like someone else instead of chasing after my Father's heart.
The truth, though, is that I am incomparable. You are incomparable. We can't compare ourselves to anyone else because we are like no one else on earth. God breathed his breath into each of our souls and fashioned each of us uniquely, for a purpose only we can do.
Our Father delights in each of us and compares us to no one that ever was, is or will be. Each of us are a unique thought of his love. Trying to compare ourselves to each other, then, is impossible -- we just can't be compared.
Each of our journeys of holiness, too, is unique and unrepeatable. My way to holiness is different from your way.
I love how the story of David suiting up to meet Goliath illustrates this: "[Saul] gave his own armor to David for him to wear ... David strapped Saul's sword over the armor and tried to walk, but he couldn't, because he wasn't used to wearing them. 'I can't fight with all this,' he said to Saul. 'I'm not used to it.'
"So he took it all off. He took his shepherd's stick and then picked up five smooth stones from the stream and put them in his bag. With his sling ready, he went out to meet Goliath." (1 Samuel 17:38-40)
Wearing armor was the natural thing for Saul to do in battle, but when David wore Saul's bulky armor he couldn't even walk, much less try to defeat a giant. Both Saul and David had the same goal in mind, but their ways of living it out were different. Father Bill Kottenstette sums up being who we are on our journey of holiness this way: "Find and wear your own armor."
When I think about finding my own armor to wear, comparing myself to others no longer even seems helpful. The only One I can look to to lead me along a never-before-seen path is the One who created me and already knows the way. Only in God am I free to discover who I am and live the adventure of how I'm created to worship him with my life.
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.