But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt.’ And God said. ‘I will be with you.’ (Exodus 3:11)”
Have you noticed the dimples covering the surface of a golf ball? Some people may suggest that these dimples make the ball look imperfect. So, what is their purpose?
An aeronautical engineer who designs golf balls says a perfectly smooth golf ball will travel only 130 yards off the tea after being struck by a club. But the same golf ball with dimples on its surface takes flight and travels 260 yards, twice as far as it would without dimples.
It is clear that dimples, which appear to be flawed on the ball, actually minimize the ball’s air resistance and allow it to travel further than it otherwise would.
Most of us can identify the physical characteristic of our bodies. Even the things we wish didn’t exist. We don’t like flaws, which are part of who we are, and it is difficult for us to accept our imperfections.
Whatever imperfections you and I have, they are nothing but an unusual shape of uniqueness that God’s divine hand-formed when he molded and shaped us. In writing about the glorious power of creation, the psalmist in Psalm 139 wrote, “You created my inmost being: you knit my unformed body…Your eyes saw my unformed body, and I will praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
I don’t know if you are aware of it or not, but there’s a modeling agency that uses people who are considered ugly as models. Listen to what “Ugly Models” say on their web site: “We like our women fat and our men geeky. We like the extremely tall and the
shockingly small. No one is too abstract for our books! We are ugly. And we are the leaders in character modeling.” But in our society, the emphasis is placed on physical beauty. If someone wants to pursue a career in movies or television, they are expected to possess a certain look. They’re expected to be a certain height, to have perfect teeth, and come from a particular race.
I was surprised when I learned about this agency that specializes in using ugly people. But all too often, we find cause or reason to criticize ourselves. Some people hate the color of their skin. Some hate the size of their nose or the texture of their hair. They may not know it, but they are self-haters. Seeing fault in oneself is saying that God didn’t know what He was doing when He made me. Nothing is further from the truth.
What God created is good!
The biblical text that I’ve quoted above tells the story of a man who closed his eyes to his uniqueness. His name was Moses. God called Moses to go to Egypt to perform a special job. God could have chosen any man or woman to do this job, but God chose Moses. When a job has to be done, someone with special qualities, someone unique, is called to step up to the plate. All of us are different, and God speaks differently to all of us. Although we’re different, we are all sons and daughters of God. We have relatives who may be similar to us in some respects, because of DNA, but we all have different fingerprints. Moses was educated by the Egyptian School System. I imagine Egypt’s schools were unique. During the time of Moses, no other nation could compete with Egypt. In many ways, we can say the same about the United States. But even in this great Country, we emulate Egypt’s glorious past. The practice of preserving the dead through the process of mummification has allowed us to study ancient Egypt and learn of its uniqueness.
We don’t know how Pyramids—constructions of stones Weighing thousands of tons, were hauled and put in places to be erected into these ancient structures. However, we do know these mysterious constructions share a similar geographical grid. They are unique in their position of longitude and latitude on this celestial globe we call earth. Although we understand Egypt’s uniqueness, a study of scripture suggests that Moses didn’t realize his personal uniqueness. Though he struggled with an acceptance of his uniqueness, Moses nevertheless understood something within him, within his inner self, was different. One difference was his hidden but unique confidence. One day this confidence surfaced in the face of two unusual situations. The first was learning he was not an Egyptian by blood, but adopted. Secondly, his anger led to murder when he killed an Egyptian man and buried him in the sand. A witness observed his deed, and Moses was forced to leave Egypt.
After relocating, Moses married one of Jethro’s daughters and became a shepherd.
His unique confidence came out again when he approached a bush that burned but was not consumed. In other words, in the face of complicated problems, one has to make good decisions by knowing how to respond in the face of unusual situations.
Our present president and governors of various states face a great challenge as COVID-19 stumps across the world and leaves havoc in its wake. We need leadership. We need leaders who will succeed despite their personal flaws. Leaders who can look beyond themselves, who can use their deficiencies as a tool to help solve problems. It is a destructive behavior if a leader’s flaws cause him (her) to be controlled by the problem rather than controlling the problem. Just as Moses was commanded to “take off your shoes from your feet, because you’re standing on holy ground,” we need leaders who can do what needs to be done to accomplish a goal, despite their flaws. Leaders of this type understand their unusual shape of uniqueness empowers them to get the job done.
The Rev. Dr. J. Douglas Childers is a member of the E. E. Butler class of 1968.