Originality is a lie.
Which is funny, since we live in a society hell bent on originality.
Even if you speak a sentence into existence that has never been spoken before, you construct it in a system that’s been around for hundreds of generations. If you paint, draw, sculpt… you’re combining elements created by someone or something else (and that something was created by someone somewhere). Heck, even you were a collaboration from your parents, if you think about it.
So why, then, do we care? Our post modern relativistic culture wants us to “be ourselves” and “stand out” when ultimately that really just leads to self seeking individualism.
In their song Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes expresses:
I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me
But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see
I love that the angst in not knowing what that purpose beyond is, but feeling a drive toward it anyway. Who knows where or what purpose you will serve in the bigger picture, and there is a comfort in that.
I’ve been processing a lot on the idea of nothingness. The beauty of it. If I believe in an Almighty Creator who in Himself is complete, there is nothing that I have to add or subtract. If I believe that the same Almighty Creator desires me, and not just me, but all people…, how much comfort lies in the fact that ultimately, I/we can’t really screw anything up, but have a world of opportunity in front of me/us to serve something beyond ourselves! All we have is response.
Embrace the nothingness. Embrace the collaboration.
Almost immediate update: After sending this to my good friend Adam, he reminded me that there is a particular balance to note. There is an intentionality behind the timing in which we exist. We may be a unique set of DNA, atoms and molecules, the only combination this specific. I believe that at the end of the day, our life is about bringing glory to God and spending eternity with Him. In a concrete way though, our role may be specific to our giftings, existing in a specific time. I would argue to say though, if you don’t fill the role, God’s work is no less complete. What great mystery is this!