The argument must have lasted for 10 minutes.
And that’s an incredible length of time for such an inane debate. My son contended the fur trim on his coat was real; my daughter insisted otherwise. But I was suspicious of his vehemence and sidelined him afterwards for a conversation about it.
“I think you knew it wasn’t real,” I probed.
“Yeah,” came the bashful reply after some careful inspection of the carpet at his feet.
“So, why did you keep saying it was?”
“Because I wanted to be important.”
I was flabbergasted both by the candor and the self-awareness.
Being right, in his eyes, meant he mattered.
I summoned what little parental patience I seem to possess (please recall the argy-bargy I’d just endured for 10 minutes), and knelt down to meet him in this vulnerable expression of self-doubt.
We explored the conventional reasons people feel important and the ways they seek validation of them: being funny or smart, popular or athletic, cute (excuse me, handsome) or well-dressed. Truth be told, we’d both like to be all of them.
But none of these confer importance or significance. They are just shiny veneers on the purest gold:
God made him and me and you.
God. Of the universe. The one who created the earth and controls the oceans and winds. The one who dots the prairies with flowers and carves canyons deep.
I asked my son to number the students in his class. Then his school. We estimated the population of our city, state, country and world. We expanded that number to cover recorded history.
And then I whispered, “Even with all those people, God still wanted to make you.”
And the same is true for you, friend. With all those people you pass each day at the grocery, on the road, in school or at the office… God still wanted to make you.
You don’t have to do anything or be anything more than you already are.
You are important.