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I am an earthenware jug
filled to the brim with simple water —
Adam’s ale, most humble mead.
And yet I cry:
Make me wine,
make me wine,
make me wine.

I wrote this poem fragment one afternoon, realizing it at once as a declaration of one of my deepest sins: I don’t think that I am good enough for God. I want to be special; I want to be a saint. I want to be extraordinary.

But what’s so wrong with ordinary? After all, I am as God made me. Why ask for wine when water is enough? And then it came to me: What if you knew that all you had to do is to be your best self, in all your day-to-day plainness, and you would be doing exactly what God wanted of you? What if being ordinary and happy is enough?

Sometimes I feel like Pinocchio; that somehow, if I do something wonderful, something important, I’ll achieve “real boy” status. But maybe this is as real as it gets. Instead of keeping my eye on some nebulous, unachievable future, why don’t I just look around at where I am right now, and focus on making it as good as I can make it? Wouldn’t that be a better use of my time?

It comes down to this: Some people, a select few, are extraordinary. And they earn that status in contrast with the rest of us, the vast ordinary majority. And that’s just fine. We are all doing God’s work by being who we are. Shouldn’t that be enough for us?

I’m not going to pray to be converted into wine anymore. I’m done with whining, too. I got the message, and I’m passing it on: You are enough. You are perfectly perfect. God made you so. Don’t waste your time fruitlessly wishing to be what you’re not. Just be a perfectly perfect you. God is absolutely crazy about that person. And so am I.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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