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New Way To Be Human
By Jay Cookingham

I grow tired of being human sometimes. Tired of human rights, human nature and hearing, "Well, Iím only human." Itís a sad condition, this humanness, and coping with it seems pointless at times.

In fact, dealing with my humanity is sometimes akin to eating a baloney sandwich. Exciting? No. Filling? Maybe, but not fulfilling at all. Rather, a bland meaningless attempt at living, mixed with some mundane manufacturing of purpose.

There are days when I try to live beyond the sandwich. I have wishes of making a difference in the world; of leaving my mark on society. Thatís when my humanity strikes again.

The compulsive disorders of selfish living occupy too many of my days. In this state, eyes and ears quickly close to the needs of others. It seems, that even at my peak, I am no better than that stale baloney sandwich.

The problem is simple Ė I have a disease Ė the disease of me.

When Pat Riley took over as coach of the New York Knicks some years ago, he said their poor team play was because of a disease they all had. He called it "the disease of me." To Coach Riley, the playersí team focus was less than the attention they paid to their own stats, playing time and salary.

It is now obvious to me that I am a carrier of that same sickness. Too much "me-ness" is a sure symptom.

Is this what God created humans to be like? No, I think there is a new way to be human.

"Then God said, ĎLet us make man in our image, in our likenessÖí" (Genesis 1:26 NIV)

God created humanity in His image and planted His likeness on us. We can share His character, His creativeness and vision. Seeing like God raises our awareness, enabling the mundane to be "magical."

"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous thingsÖ" (Psalm 119:18 KJV)

It is through Jesus we have the best example of a new way to be human. While He walked this earth, Jesus poured His love through His humanness, through His flesh. Iím glad; humanity needed that love, that perfect example of a new way to be human. Jesus redirects our vision towards the Father and His goodness.

What does God see? How does God see? These become questions that empower our imagination, giving insight to the heart of God.

When our vision is redirected, thatís when wondrous things appear. Our own humanity looks different, neighbors look different and more importantly, whom we see as our neighbor changes. To see through new human eyes will surprise us and turn our lives upside down.

A reconditioned, new way to be human, outlook has a heavenly spin on it. The ordinary, the status quo, the routine are all disrupted with an invasion of the Divine. I can find places to worship, opportunities to grow and lives to touch in all situations. When I do, these experiences become life encompassing; filling my every nook and cranny with purpose.

This new way to be human drives me to know the Heavenly Father intimately. I am different when I know Him more. The experiences touch me, but relational communion with the Father restores me. Brand spanking new humanness, with the capacity and freedom to embrace all God wants us to be.

My senses explode with new zeal that drives me closer to God and closer to his creation. Now, enjoying butterflies and butterfingers, Starbucks and stargazing, ocean waves and a babyís bye-bye wave, a Broadway hit play and a great double play; dealing with serious life issues like confronting injustice, comforting a loved one and standing firm amid trials, all make up the "genes" of life. Here God whispers to our souls, reeducating our nature, always gently reminding us of our true DNA and the human He intends us to be.

Through it all God is saying, "Hereís life more abundantly", and stuffing our every pore with it. His passion ignites my spirit and I become alive to His plan and wishes for me.

Itís a journey for sure, but now I give off a "new human smell" as I go along.

New way to be human
There's a new way to be human
It's nothing we've ever been
There's a new way to be human
It's spreading under my skin
There's a new way to be human
Where divinity blends
With a new way to be human
New way to be human
~ Switchfoot ~

Father of seven, Jay Cookingham, has been happily married to his wife Christine for 22 years. He is trained as a graphic designer, a featured columnist at Fatherville.com , Christianwriters.com ,ibelieve.com ,and Crossmap.com , and writes a weekly e-mail newsletter for fathers. His "Seven Promises from Your Husband" was featured on the Ken Canfieldís radio program Todayís Father. Recently published in the God's Way series for Fathers, the series for Teachers and Christmas godswaybooks.com. He is currently writing his first book on the subject of fathering.

LIFE LESSONS FROM 2004:
Iíve learned that you can bang on a door waiting for it to open forever and a day, and it will still be shut a day later. Iíve discovered to be flexible with the vision and dream God has placed in my heart. The core of it stays the same, but the way He brings it about is a constantly changing surprise. Now, when a door stays shut, I start looking around for an open one He has opened a little further down the road. (Deb Porter)


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