“…and when everyone’s super (maniacal laugh), no one will be.” – Syndrome
The quote above is from the bad guy in Pixar’s The Incredibles. Syndrome admired super heroes as a child and, despite not having super powers himself, wanted to be just like them. So he started inventing things that enabled him to fly, shoot lasers from his fingers, etc. After growing up, he began using his inventions to kill off super heroes to prove that he could be as good as they were without their “oh, so precious gifts” and their “oh, so special powers”. The end game is that when he’s old and had his fun with his inventions, he will sell them so that everyone can be super – ultimately depleting the value completely of the real super heroes.
To me, this is one of the most dangerous super villain plots written into a super hero movie – to take away what makes people special. For a lot of people, identities are wrapped up in work, families, or in those who depend on them. What makes individuals unique can’t be true about them without validation from other people. Their identities don’t belong to them, but to those around them. It has been given away so freely that it no longer exists because of the individual – but because of the people who depend on it. They neglect spending any time developing who they are because they’re too busy stretching it out to other people. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that, the less they love themselves, the less they can really love those around them.
There is another camp who doesn’t believe that there is anything special about them at all. They go through life thinking that they have nothing to offer, or that what they have to offer isn’t good enough or as good as another who can offer the same thing. They are incapable of working hard to give themselves to others because they don’t believe that there is anything in them worth giving in the first place. They neglect spending any time developing who they are because there is no point in doing so – no one cares. They refuse to acknowledge that doing for others can be a great way to discover what makes you special.
One of my favorite stories is called, “You Are Special” by Max Lucado. Here’s a link to a pdf of the story – it’s worth your time to read, trust me. Understand that we were made in the image of our Maker for the purpose of pointing back to Him. We are like paintings designed to showcase an Artist. Though it is incredibly important to pour into the lives of others, our identities should be wrapped up in the fact that we are His. Paintings and works of art aren’t concerned with how other works of art point back to the Artist, but only that they are doing so to the fullest potential.
There is something about you that makes you beautiful to your Creator. Honestly, I don’t know that whether you realize it or not matters all that much. What matters is that you be someone who lives to glorify Him through your best worship now. There are lots of ways to do that.
Jesus once told a story (in Matthew 25) about a master giving talents to his servants. He gave them different amounts of talents according to their ability and left for a journey. When he returned, the majority had used their talents and multiplied them. To them, the master was well-pleased. There was one servant who hid his talent away – did not use it or enhance it. He is referred to in the passage as a “worthless servant”.
The point is that how they used their talents and what their talents were is excluded on purpose. I think the important part is that they had them and that they used them to multiply them. If you still don’t think you have any – just start doing things that enhance the lives of others to the glory of God. That’s the best path forward. If your talents are completely wrapped up in doing for others, take some time to remember what they are and developing them. Multiplying talents doesn’t always mean giving them away 100% of the time. Realize what makes you beautiful and work to see those same things in other people as well.