When I was a little kid I had the most strangest and wildest imagination. I would lie awake at night wondering how I got to be me. Why was I not a dinner table chair instead? (Which only freaked me out even more thinking about the possibility of being something that doesn’t even know it exists. How do you exist without knowing you exist? Freaky!) Why was I not a bear in Alaska? How did I get to be born in my little home town in the United States instead of to a family in Australia? Its not that I wanted to be something else, it just freaked me out wondering, how I got to be me, and why am I me here, and now? I get the whole genes and chromosomes thing now, but those do not make a soul.
As I got older I realized just how close I came to never being born. My mother only wanted two children, a boy and a girl. Before I was born, my mother had a girl and sadly, two miscarriages. If one of those had survived they would not have had me. Then you also have the extreme small chance that I would even be the sperm that survives. So why am I me? Why was I born a little baby brother in my small speck of the planet around the mid to late 20th century? I found the answer this week in Proverbs.
A friend is always loyal,and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17 NLT
Ah! So simple. I was born me to my family in my time and place, so I could help my family in time of need and be a loyal friend to others. Who knew?
Actually it’s a lot like why Jesus was born.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NLT
So now as an old grown up I lie in bed awake thinking about how I got to be me. Out of all the things I could have been (if anything at all) and all the times and places I could have been born, I was born to my family and community here and now. God placed me here by some miraculous design that even genes and chromosomes can’t fully explain.
And yet, if I fail to help my family and friends in their time of need, then this great miracle of my existence is all about nothing!