Sibling rivalry is nothing new. It started just outside the Garden of Eden when two boys fought and Cain killed his brother Able.
My brother and I have been competing since the day I was born. As children we fought over everything from toys to attention to, well, almost anything. Fortunately, neither my older brother Dick nor I took things as far as Cain did, but we had some pretty good scuffles over the years.
As I recall, and here I am speaking with absolutely no bias, none of the fights were ever my fault. I think our problem was that he was born first (about 15 months before I was born) that when I appeared on the scene he saw me as a threat to his place of supremacy in the family lineage. That’s the “sibling rivalry” thing psychologists find so interesting.
However, many years ago, sometime between puberty and adulthood, my brother and I became more friends than rivals. Fact is my brother is a great guy and a dear friend. He is a terrific family man, a wonderful, generous, fun-loving gentleman. As we have matured a more-friendly and even fun rivalry has developed.
That rivalry showed up spontaneously one day when we were discussing the subject, “what’s the first thing you remember?”
I started out by telling my story. I told Dick the first thing I remember was the death of our family dog. Our dad owned an airplane and so we went frequently to the airport. I don’t know if we ever took the dog with us or not, but one time on our way back from the airport we saw our dog lying lifeless beside the road a few blocks from our home. He had been hit by a car. That was the end of my story.
Then my brother started telling his story. I think it was something about Dad digging a well on the west side of our house so he could water the grass. He told the story with what I detected were a few not-likely-to-be-true embellishments.
So, without hesitation, I said, “Wait a minute. I do remember something before the death of our dog.”
Brother Dick, sensing a competition was about to begin, asked in a rather derisive tone, “What?”
“I remember,” I said with a thoughtful look up into the sky, “I remember being in a dark and warm place and then suddenly I was in a very bright place with lights shining on me and I heard Mother moaning. It was very cold, and a bunch of people dressed in white manhandled me and one of them even swatted me on the butt and made me cry.” Then I smiled the smile that comes when you know you have won first place.
Not to be out done, something I’ve now coined “The Cain Effect”, Dick said, “That’s nothing. I remember going to a picnic with Dad and coming home with Mom.” Then HE smiled the smile that comes when you know you have won first place.
We both laughed.
You may wonder, “What does this story have to do about me?”
My answer: “Lots, that’s what.”
The story is about where you came from.
No, it’s not a lesson in sex education; you already know how that works. It is much more important than genetics or DNA or the natural reproductive process.
It is a story about the origin of each individual on earth. It is the story about where you and I came from. And what you and I believe about our ultimate origin makes all the difference in the world to what we become over the three-score and ten years allotted unto us.
This story in a weird way sets up the two views of the origin of man: Designer determined or randomly produced.
Since I believe in the God of the Bible my position is that you and I are Designer determined. I believe that I was in the mind of God before I was in the womb of my mother.
Now, let me put it on you: I believe YOU were in the mind of God before you were in the womb of your mother.
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There are plenty of people promulgating the other point of view. Nearly every public school and university teaches that the earth was randomly created from series of cosmic accidents that suddenly aligned an uncountable number of forces that made it possible for life to miraculously crawl out of some primeval swamp and become the precursor of all life, organic, animal and ultimately human. Personally, that theory takes way too much faith to believe, so I accept the story of creation as found in the Bible.
So I’m not going to bother to discuss the so-called scientific viewpoint because it is well known and broadly accepted as scientifically true, even though it cannot be proven scientifically and relies on a whole string of miraculous events in order for you and I to appear on this planet here today some 50 or 100 million years after it began.
What I want you and you and you to know is that when you “went to a picnic with Dad and came home with Mom,” it was no accident. Let me say it in a clearer way: you were in the mind of God before you were in the womb of your mother.
And you know something? This is why your soul yearns for God. This is why in the dark of the night when you lay awake in your bed you pray, even if you may not know God on a personal basis. This is why when you are scared you scream, “Oh God!” It is not a scream of fear; it is a prayer from the depths of your soul to the One who created you. It is YOU calling out to your Creator.
What does this mean for you today? It means that no matter whom your father or mother was that YOU were the idea of God. Even if you have been told you were a mistake or born out of season or even if you were the child of rape, you are here for a purpose.
And since you are here for a purpose your life has meaning. You have something to offer this planet that no one else has. It does not matter whether you are old or young, smart or slow-witted, short or tall, black or white, rich or poor, handsome or unattractive, congenial or hostile, articulate or tongue-tied, man or woman, boy or girl, you’re something special.
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