A Slice of Infinity
The Road to Noteworthy
Ironically, there could not be a more common human behavior. Though India might be embracing a unique path to superlatives, the road to noteworthy is one of the oldest, most well-traveled paths in the world. We are constantly about the work of distinguishing ourselves from whatever crowd we find ourselves standing in. From increased interests in book writing and extreme sports, to becoming one of reality television's idols, aspirations to be the fastest or the richest or the greatest are nothing new.
But the ever-spinning world of the best and the brightest reaches well beyond personal aspirations. Thus, the best bottled water can no longer be simply from a source in Texas; it must be from the coldest waters of the highest springs of the Swiss Alps. Grocers now have 12 kinds of bottled water on their shelves, each promising a better superlative. Of course, by nature, superlatives only exist because there are less extreme idols, talents, and water by comparison. The word is derived from the Latin superlatus, which means "carried beyond." Though it is not always clear what standard we are using for comparison, it is arguable that we are now about the business of carrying absolutely everything "beyond." A recent report on NPR showed that the number of choices in a grocery store in 1969 was somewhere around 7,000. Walking into the average grocery store today we are confronted with 50,000 choices. Sometimes it seems we are intent on the endless pursuit of out-doing our own superlatives.
It is in the midst of this wearying competition with ourselves and every crowd that the church stands tall to do what it does best: not finger-wagging, not nay-saying, but extending a resonant, viable, and hopeful alternative. When Jesus proclaimed "whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" he was stating something essential for the one desperate to be acknowledged as worthy. Knowing who we are without our records and superlatives, knowing that all our efforts cannot give us what we need, knowing that worth is something quite different than standing out in a crowd is the starting point for finding life as it exists most abundantly.
Jill Carattini is senior associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.
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