One of billions. That’s all I am. That’s all I’ll ever be. It’s a dismally small number as a fraction, decimal and one in seven billion or so is just of the people alive right now. The gravity of this number hit me this past weekend after a late night conversation with my good friend, Erik. One is a small number, but with others, it doesn’t have to be insignificant.
You were meant to be only one. God created you as a single being for many reasons. Without going too deep theologically, you were created as only one to be incomplete without God. You were created as one to be incomplete without others in your life. You were made as one to highlight the sufficiency and magnificence of God. You were made as one so that you would have to made complete outside of yourself.
In a sense, we are born lacking. There is no significance in one. Swimming in a sea of billions, none is substantial or significant. However, when we begin relationships with others, that is when things start to get interesting. When we live life with those around us and diligently seek to find more to do this with, that fraction starts to amount to something. Things start happening. The world around us begins to come to life itself.
Awakening at last. Our understanding of being born again causes a mental block, so I recommend we stick with everyone being born once. However, from my brief experience, that birth was not when you left your mother’s womb. No, it is when you begin to experience life in it’s ups and downs, highs and lows with those around you in a way that is devoted to God.
We need help. If you’re like me, you’ve noticed there are just some things you’re not as good at and then there are things at which we just suck. That’s right, I am miserable at things like reminding people of Scripture and sharing my faith with complete strangers. Sure, I need to improve those aspects of my faith, but the heart of the matter is I need other people around me to help with those parts of life. I need others to round out my set of gifts.
There is beauty in insufficiency. In my singularity, I am able to better see the brilliance of a God who lovingly created me to rely on Him foremost and my neighbors. Do you not see it for yourself? This importance of the individual is preposterous; it stains the beautiful collage that is the human experience. Sure, we’re each broken and flawed in our own way, but together we are woven to create an unparalleled masterpiece.
One on its own means little in such a populated world. One functioning as a part of a smaller group all working toward a common goal can mean much. One zombie existing aimlessly in a sea of the undead is inconsequential. One soul on fire in this world shines light on many. However, we can’t burn alone. We need God to supply the flame and others to help tend to it. Likewise, we tend to others’ flames and slowly, but surely we light the world around us on fire bringing one more zombie to life at a time. Together, we are more than one in billions.