I have to admit that my having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) has not always been such a pleasant experience for my family. I can be scattered and forgetful. I start things with great intentions—but even the greatest intentions don’t guarantee that projects actually get done. So they stack and collect dust in the “someday” corner . . . you get the idea.
I felt a little better when I learned I may be in good company. Some say that the artist Pablo Picasso, authors Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Virginia Woolf, and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had ADD. Henry Ford, Malcolm Forbes, Lewis and Clark, Jim Carrey, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein have been considered by certain experts as having this mental . . .
Whatever you call it, ADD’s a label: Attention Deficit Disorder describes symptoms and struggles across a spectrum.
But a label does not define a person. We are often quick to classify others before considering how Scripture defines each of us. Psalm 139 defines each life as unique, thought of, important, wonderfully complex, marvelous, and precious. In contrast, we label people medically, physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally—forgetting that people are more than just labels.
I was reminded of this just the other day.
Mirrors and Musings
Years ago, I began to write notes to myself. I taped a Sharpie marker to my bathroom mirror and made lists. This practice has saved me from many mistakes or mishaps over time. I have listed countless things, but the most valuable have been related to character development. Currently, in big, bright red letters I have written:
- How do you want to be remembered?
- What is most important?
- What act of courage did I achieve today?
- Was I clear, courageous, considerate?
In the past, I have written verses, character qualities to develop, and many other ideas that test the popular talk of society.
What I had not realized is that my kids took notice, because I found they, too, had taken a Sharpie to their bathroom mirrors . . . even though they don’t have ADD.
One day, I needed tissue, and the boys’ bathroom was the closest. I visit their bathroom like I visit the Emergency Room—only when the situation is critical. But while stretching to reach the box of tissue without touching anything else, I spotted these character development challenges on my son’s mirror:
- Be a leader.
- Do the right thing.
- Don’t be lazy.
- Learn to play.
- Work now, play later.
Recently I saw that my daughter had written these words from 1 Corinthians 13 on her mirror:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4–5, 7 NLT)
What Reflects Our Worth Most of All
Because of my mirror-writing habit, stemming from what culture considers my human flaw, my kids have picked up some wisdom about mirrors—the best mirrors reflect our development and character, and they focus on God rather than on our fleeting outward appearance.
We need to remember and remind ourselves of our inherent value and worth in God’s eyes rather than listen to human voices telling us what to treasure and what to label. It’s time to trash the labels—those we wear and those we place on others—and instead treasure the truths Christ communicates about us in His Word.
If you were to pick up a Sharpie and write on your mirror some messages to remember, would they reflect who God made you to be? What are you telling yourself these days?
I challenge you: pick up a Sharpie. Then tell me who you really are.
You can leave a comment by clicking here.