I know you’ve heard people say you’re special.
In fact, we hear it so often it’s hard not to tune it out… “Yeah sure, I’m special, and I need to eat a well balanced diet, say no to drugs, brush my teeth twice a day, and not run with scissors. Yadda Yadda Yadda” (though that last bit about the scissors is actually for real. Take it from someone who had more stitches than Frankenstein before her twelfth birthday.) The whole “you’re special” thing is just another phrase that washes into white noise for us.
We also wonder, can the people telling us we’re special really know what they’re talking about? Too often, that person doesn’t even know us. How could they possibly know we’re special? Frankly, mostly what we hear from the people who know us is criticism. They use words and phrases (that I won’t repeat here) that tear us down one cold, judgmental word at a time. At some point, we wish we could crawl inside ourselves and disappear or, better yet, trade lives with someone else.
We feel so far from special. Heck, sometimes we feel disgustingly short of normal. No matter how hard we try, the bench mark for being special, someone truly worth while, just seems a little too outside our reach.
Believe me, I know how you feel, but can I tell you just one thing before you go? You see, you really are special (and yes, in a good way), and I don’t have to know you to know it’s true. Why is that? The thing is, I know who created you, and trust me, he doesn’t make trash (see Psalm 139 to see exactly what I mean).
If Jesus was living in the 21st Century, he’d come up with some super amazing analogy or parable to explain just how important you are, but, since God isn’t here in the flesh at the moment, I’ll take a crack at it. So here’s my attempt at a Jesus-type parable…
We are all video game characters, and every one of us has a role to play in this crazy messed up universe.
As for specifics, I’m going to have to turn to my old friend, Wreck-It Ralph. For those of you who don’t know, he’s a character in an old school arcade game called “Fix-It Felix Jr.” circa Age of Pac Man. You know the type of game. It’s kind of short on plot, but oddly addictive. In this case, Ralph wrecks an apartment building and Fix-It Felix, the gamer’s avatar, has to… now wait for it… fix the building (didn’t see that coming, did you?). And then there’s the Nicelanders, the minor characters who live in the apartment building and help Felix as he wages his war against the chaos. Pretty simple, but yeah, kind of addictive.
If you’ve seen Wreck-It Ralph, the movie that’s based on the game, you know that Ralph isn’t a very popular guy. Now, we can understand why the Nicelanders would have hard feelings. After all, Ralph wrecks there home over and over again for thirty years straight.
But what really gets me is that Ralph isn’t the real “wrecker” in this film. The real wreckers, believe it or not, are the so-called Nicelanders.
Ralph tears down the building as a part of his job, but the Nicelanders have spent the last three decades tearing down Ralph. They tell him that he’s “just the bad guy that wrecks the building.” He doesn’t matter.
Just. It can be a ruthless word if you think about it, capable of dismantling a person brick by brink. “You’re nothing more than worthless,” it says. “You’re as good as trash.” And that’s exactly how the Nicelanders treat Ralph, right down to throwing him out with the garbage (yeah, the dude actually lives and sleeps in the dump).
Things get interesting in the film when Ralph has enough. He wants to be accepted, important, treated with respect, and, heck, why not even loved? He doesn’t want to just be the bad guy anymore. He wants to be someone special, so he leaves his game to try and become the hero in another gaming universe.
Unfortunately, Ralph’s big idea doesn’t go according to plan. I won’t give it away if you haven’t seen the film, but trust me, things don’t go so well for Ralph. I’ll just leave it at this, when he tries to be something he’s not, that’s when Ralph really truly wrecks things.
Meanwhile, back in Fix-It Felix Jr., the Nicelands and Felix get a cold dose of reality. It turns out, there’s no Fix-It Felix Jr. without Wreck-It Ralph. Since there’s no Ralph to wreck the building, there’s really nothing for the gamers and Felix to fix. Suddenly, the game is put out of order and scheduled to be carted away. As one Nicelander so astutely put it, without Ralph, they’re doomed.
Do you have Nicelanders in your life? Do you ever feel like you’ve been relegated to the garbage? Well trust me, the only garbage is the message that you don’t matter.
When God designed creation, he made each of us unique with our own role to play. We’re not just separate individuals, we’re part of a whole. If one of those parts goes missing or doesn’t play its assigned role (kind of like Ralph), the rest of us suffer for it.
In Jesus’ day they didn’t have video games, so the Apostle Paul likened it to us being parts of a body. If we were all eyes, how would the body see? If we were all ears, where would the sense of hearing be? (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 for more).
We are each different, but we’re not just anything. Each person is irreplaceable, including you.
So take a lesson from God and Wreck-It Ralph. You really are special, and you were made special for a reason. You may not know what that reason is yet, but when you find it, you’ll feel amazing.
God has incredible plans for your life, and believe me, you’re life wasn’t an accident. He planned you when he planned creation. That plan includes a life filled with hope, an amazing future, and the understanding of just how much you matter. When you finally do discover his plans for you, I think you’ll be able to say what Ralph could finally say in the end: “There’s no one I’d rather be than me.”
To learn more about how awesome you are and just how much God loves you, visit https://www.fallingplates.com/ You can check out their video below.
Thanks for reading. If this message spoke to you, I hope you’ll share it with a friend. In a world that tends to tear people down, we all need friends to help build us up.
God bless you, and remember, you are awesome!