Turns out there was something almost as satisfying Monday night as watching Eddie Lacy, A. J. McCarron and company put looks of futility and bewilderment on yet another BCS opponent – a game, by the way, I have waited since 1966 to witness.
It was a commercial. For Dr. Pepper, of all things. Now as long as I’ve known anything about Dr. Pepper and commercials, they have always had some kind of big song and dance production. And this commercial was no exception.
What was exceptional was the song in the commercial. It sort of stopped me in my tracks. I actually hit rewind to see the thing again. (If you know anything about me and commercials, you will know this rarely happens.) If you’d like to see the commercial, it’s already on YouTube, and you can watch it here.
I didn’t run out and buy Dr. Pepper. But I did hurry to iTunes and found the song. I just discovered it was released on iTunes on January 7, the day the commercial ran.
The song is by the Nashville group Vinyl Hearts, and it’s called, “I Am.” You can hear it in its entirety by clicking below. Please, hear the song in its entirety.
With its anthemic music and chant-like declarations of truth, this song resonates in a culture that claims to be individualistic, yet measures our worth in terms of how we conform.
I see the world like nobody else can see
I am the somebody nobody else can be
I’m the original so irreplaceable
Have you discovered yet how irreplaceable you are? What a unique perspective you carry and how vital that is to the larger community? Have you recognized lately that the world has a unique need that can only be completely filled by you? And that is something beautiful.
No matter who I will be and who I’ve been
I am perfect just the way I am
While I don’t agree with that last line theologically, I do practically. From a believer’s perspective, we would say that we are complete in Christ. But we all would agree that we don’t need to add or become anything beyond that to be complete. And like the hope we have in the gospel, the song acknowledges that we all are a work in progress. And that is something beautiful.
I’m only human just like anyone
But I’m the only me under the sun
Just like a snowflake, no two are the same
We all know in our heads that we’re unique and different. We all know as a cold fact that there is value in rarity. What we don’t seem to understand is that there is value in our rarity. I tend to respect the awesomeness of the people I look up to and disrespect the weirdness of the people who are just weird. And in-between, I’m left to carry on a love-hate relationship with myself. But what if you and I could actually love our neighbors as ourselves, starting with celebrating the unique design by which we were created? That is something beautiful.
There is unity in our individuality
I am perfect just being me
God revealed His glory in all He made. The things that make us alike and even more, the things that make us different are showcases for His glory and perfection, if we allow them to be. That means respecting the traces of His glory and traces of His grace in everyone – even those with whom we disagree or disapprove. And that is something beautiful.
I am one in a billion
I am the only one that I can be
And that is something beautiful
No one can be you like you. No one can exercise your gifts, utilize your abilities, capitalize on your life experiences, or love your unique band of neighbors like you can. You are needed, far more than you probably recognize. There is a place for you, even if you can’t see for the moment where that place is or where your journey is leading you. There is a place and there is a journey. And that is something beautiful.
I am a light that is shining
I`ll sing the song that only I can sing
And that is something beautiful
An echo of no less that Jesus Christ himself, when He said that you are the light of the world, a city set on a hill (Matthew 5:14-15). There is a darkness – near you – that your light is uniquely designed to penetrate. There are hearts – very close by – waiting to hear the song only you can sing. This is no time to wash your hands in futility or intimidation. It’s time to sing your song, and shine your light. And that is something beautiful.
I know it’s hard to stand when you feel as though you’re the only one standing. Stand anyway. Stand up. Stand out. Stand and deliver. Stand by.
I know it’s hard to feel valued when the world seems to pass you by and leave you unnoticed. Be yourself anyway. Your gifted self. Your loving self. Your faithful self. Your priceless self.
I know it’s scary to lift your voice and sing your song (literally or proverbially) if yours is the only voice singing. Sing anyway. Sing out. Sing loud. Sing long. Sing well.
I know it’s is a dark world, where lights often become targets. Shine your light anyway. Shine clearly. Shine brightly. Shine courageously. Shine hopefully.
You can’t fully invest your life, or invest in it, until you believe with conviction that yours is a unique life worth investing. Yes, it’s true that you have value because you’re part of a larger community. That’s a celebration for another day. But on this day have the gratitude and courage to raise the banner of your infinite, unique worth. To God. To the world.
…is something beautiful.