This shark is awesome. You can tell how awesome he is by his gold teeth. Obviously, the male sharks want to be him and all the ladies want to be with him. The fact that he is a success is a foregone conclusion to everyone.
The joke is on the shark though, because these teeth are not long for this world. You see, sharks continually shed their teeth, (some shedding approximately 35,000 teeth in a lifetime!) That’s a lot of lost bling. What a shame!
The tragedy though, is that gold grill or no, he already was great. He just didn’t believe it.
I don’t know about you, but I make this mistake all the time.
I chase after shiny objects that don’t last to prove my worth, even though deep down I don’t always feel so worthy.
When I was in seventh grade, I would have given anything for a pair of Air Jordans. I didn’t feel cool but was certain these shoes would make up for it. I never got them. It’s just as well I guess because they wouldn’t have fit me a year later.
Back at the turn of the century, Apple came out with the iBook. The lime green one was awesome. I printed out a picture and put it on my vision board, imagining that my possession of it would make me hip and trendy. Never got it. Of course, if I still had it today, it would be little more than a decorative doorstep.
I have dreams of owning a Porsche 911 convertible someday. I think they are beautiful cars, and I love driving convertibles (my dad used to have one). But can I be honest? Sometimes I wonder if the real reason I want it is to have something to show everyone how great and successful I am.
Now, my faith teaches me that I am wonderfully made in the image of my creator. Frankly, it’s a little hard to believe, most days. After all, I wear bifocals now. My hair is thinning. I eat lots of gluten.
Interestingly, my perspective changes when I think about my own kids. Are they perfect? Hells no. (They take after their old man after all). But they are great. It’s not hard at all for me to see their amazing qualities. And the kind of shoes they’re wearing has nothing to do with it.
Why is it so easy to see the positive traits of others and so hard to see them in ourselves?
There are people out there who are a little too big for their britches. But even in those cases, once you collect a certain amount of wisdom, you realize that all the bombast and overconfidence are merely masking their own unworthiness.
Indeed, most of us are overwhelmed by our flaws and sell ourselves short. We believe the TV and magazine ads that tell us we need to fix this, tuck that, and acquire the new gizmo to feel complete. I don’t know if you can relate, but I often feel suffocated by thoughts that I’m not enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. Not brave enough. Each one is like a weed, crowding out the truth.
The good thing about this feeling of “not enough” is that it helps us make room for God. His power is made perfect in our weakness. He picks up the slack and nullifies our deficiencies. We are truly in danger when we think we can do this thing called life alone.
You and me, we are already great. And not in some lame, everybody-gets-a-participation-trophy way.
First, some perspective. Do you know the odds of you even being here? Dr. Ali Binazir crunched the numbers, and when you factor in the probability of your dad meeting your mom…
…and that they stayed together long enough to have kids…
…and the fact that one of the 100,000 eggs your mom produces in her lifetime…
…met the one of the 4 trillion sperm your dad made during the years you could have been born…
…there is a 1 in 400,000,000,000,000,000 (1 in 400 quadrillion chance) of you being alive.
The chance of you being attacked and killed by a shark are about 1 in 4,000,000.
Statistically speaking, you are a miracle. Having beaten odds like that suggests there is a reason you are here. And indeed, there is. You have something to offer that the world needs.
You see, the real reason for your greatness is that you were purposefully and wonderfully made by a loving God. Within you – amidst any so-called flaws you dwell on – is a spark of something divine. That, my friend, makes you priceless.
“When I was a child my parents loved me not because I was good but because I was Madeleine, their child. I loved them, and I wanted to please them, but their love of me did not have to be earned. Neither does the love of God. We are loved because we are his children, because we are.”– Madeleine L’Engle
You don’t have to keep trying to prove yourself. You can just be.
You may not be perfect, but you are already great.
Gold teeth or no.