The young man planned out his costume diligently. He wanted something that would be sure to draw attention. The night of the big event came and he drove to the elegant party with great anticipation. When he arrived and entered the hall he was stunned to discover that his friends had failed to mention one crucial piece of information when they invited him to the party. It was indeed a masquerade party, but it had a theme of a medieval court. He was dressed like a lobster! He wore red from head to toe, even his face was painted red, he wore antennae on his head, and he had big red foam claws for hands. His costume did garner everyone’s attention, but not at all the kind he had in mind. Everyone else was dressed in elegant medieval attire. And he was a lobster. All conversation stopped as everyone in the room turned and stared at him.
My guess is the moment that man walked into that party if you had asked him what his favorite restaurant is he would not have said Red Lobster. Can you identify with him? Most of us have had some awful moment in our lives when we have felt as conspicuously out of place as that guy. It might not have been as obvious, but it may well have felt nearly as uncomfortable. Maybe more to the point, an awful lot of us feel like that’s the story of our lives. Though the feelings are not as acute, we may go through much of our lives feeling as though we’re kind of like the lobster at the medieval party. It feels like we just don’t quite fit and everyone knows it.
At times like that we feel the pressure to run and hide, to not let anyone see us, or maybe to do everything we can to fit in. The young man in the story serves as a good reminder for us. He took the risk of forging ahead as he was and ended up being a blessing to everyone there. God has made each of us with our own unique character. Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” God’s works are wonderful, and that includes us with all of our idiosyncrasies. Often the people who make the most difference in this world are those who least “fit in.”
How can we find the courage to forge ahead in this world as we are, not fearing how we might look or whether people might reject us? The key to this is believing what David wrote in Psalm 139:14. God’s works are wonderful. I am most assuredly not the way I would have designed myself were it up to me. But it’s not up to me, nor is it up to you. God made us to be who we are, and his works are wonderful. We and our lives are no surprise to him. Psalm 139:16 says, “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” When we really believe that God has not made a mistake in how he made us, when we believe that he knows all about us and the days of our lives, when we are confident that God can and will use us for his purposes regardless of what others may think, then we are free. We are free to live as he has designed us to live and to serve his purpose for us, whatever it may be.