For those of you unfortunate enough to have had to listen to my thrash of teaching week in and week out know that Floccinaucinihilipilification is one of my favorite words. It took me several well deserved hours to consistently learn how to say it and then say it in keynote speeches and messages. At 29 characters, it is one of the longest words in the English language. Before you go and look it up for the enlightened definition, let me personify it a bit.
If I were this word, I’d flaunt my greatness around the pages of the dictionary. Other words would cower at my size as a page-long shadow would be caste simply by my measure. ‘Cat’ and ‘Day’ would wish they were me and the guest list of the parties I’d attend would include other behemoths like ‘Antidisestablishmentarianism’ and ‘Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’. I would consider myself great. Why wouldn’t I? My existence rides on the fact that there are 9 ‘I’s in me.
Ironically — and I’m getting to my analogy — Floccinaucinihilipilification’s definition is far from grand. Size, strength and the abundance of ‘I’s do not bode well once the cover of this word’s majesty is pulled back. For, Floccinaucinihilipilification means “the act or habit of estimating something as worthless.”
Think long on that. Here is this impressive word — filled with what the world would define as successful, powerful and important — yet worthless in true meaning. Like today’s chocolate Easter bunnies, bite into the first layer and it’s hollow inside. How amazing that it would be filled with ‘I’s, but that is the point.
What is the value of ‘I’?
There is another shorter word that is its partner — a smaller word that you and I know all too well. It is a word that we use to define others but rarely ourselves and that word also exists because of the presence of ‘I’. That word is Pride. The ‘I’ is right in the middle.
The point? Pride comes before a fall and what looks big and impressive on the outside could be hollow and worth nothing on the inside.
Check your ‘I’s. You are valuable but not because of your impressive bank account or your status or appearance. You matter but not because of your ability to impress or your acumen in leadership, business or familiar position. You are priceless because 2000 years ago, God crossed your ‘I’ and made it a ’t’. He made that which was old, new.
In and of yourself, you are estimated as ‘worthless’ in the eyes of eternity, but are counted invaluable in the cross and empty tomb of the one who loves you. That is where our pride should be stationed. That is where focus should be tuned. That is how you count yourself worth more than the gold on a thousand hills.
You are loved. You are valuable. You matter to the King of all Creation.
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