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You Are Unique!

Photo of Stephen BrownlowStephen Brownlow | Bio

Stephen Brownlow

Stephen worked as a Law Enforcement officer for ten years in Texas where he obtained his Advanced Peace Officer license. It was in this role that he received first-hand exposure to the hurt in the world and came face to face with his own brokenness. It became evident during this time that the answer to the world’s hurt and his own brokenness was Jesus, and he embarked on a mission to serve Jesus for the rest of his life. In addition to pursuing a career in the electronic security industry, he obtained his bachelor's in practical ministry from Dallas Christian College and master's in strategic ministry from Point University. As a graduate of the Leadership Institute at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Phoenix, he released the first ever Leadership Institute Devotion called Transform, and was also published in Christian Standard magazine. Stephen is on staff at CCV as the Safety and Security Technology Manager.  He has a wife, Brittany, and two children, Jordan and Josey.

A deck of cards that is shuffled correctly is an example of something profoundly unique. The number of possible orders for a deck of cards is a 68-digit number. That’s an incredibly large number of possible orders! I can comprehend seven-digit numbers and ten-digit numbers, but 68 digits?

How large is that number? There are more atoms in a gram of carbon than there are grains of sand on the earth, but that number is still lower than the number of possible combinations in a deck of cards. If you were able to label a grain of sand and ask a friend to hide it on earth, the odds of you finding it and picking it up are better than you shuffling a deck of cards into a predetermined order. What does this mean?

It means that every time you shuffle a deck of cards, there is a high chance you’ve shuffled them in an order that has never been seen in the history of the universe and will never be seen again.

According to Reddit, if there were 500 billion galaxies in the universe, 200 billion solar systems in each galaxy, 1 billion planets in each solar system, 10 billion people on each planet, and every person was shuffling cards randomly at one million shuffles per second since the beginning of time, every possible combination still would not have been shuffled!

Apply this knowledge to humanity. We are a unique combination of inherited genetic characteristics from our parents, and we each have infinitely unique life experiences. Even if two people were exactly alike and had the exact same human experience, they could still have different personalities. Even if the personalities were the same, their preferences for foods, smells, or colors could still be different. Even if their preferences were the same, they could be from a different culture, have a different name, and speak a different language.

Human beings—mind, body, and soul—are the most unique thing in the universe. They are a treasure beyond comprehension, more valuable than all the gold and silver in the universe.

When you walk around your church on the weekend and meet people, you are meeting a being that the universe has never seen and will never see the likes of again! How does this affect how you see those around you? To those who pause and pay attention, it gives a sense of awe and wonder. It reminds me of how good our God is since he made us so special that what we are will never be repeated. It makes me want to be intentional about valuing others more highly.

But there’s also something about this for ourselves. It’s good to value others more, but we also need to respect and value ourselves. It’s not just others that are incredibly unique and special, it’s us. If you struggle with self-worth, struggle no further! You are infinitely unique and incredibly valuable in God’s eyes.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13)

Playing cards is designed to bring people together in circles to experience relationship. God also designed us to be in relationship. Every moment we exist is a moment that will never be repeated. It is truly a gift beyond measure to exist and be in relationship with others. Remember that every time you shuffle a deck of cards.

You are infinitely unique and incredibly valuable in God’s eyes.