Let’s start with a little quiz. Look at the following list, and see if there’s anything wrong with it. If so, what?
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.
Time’s up. What was your answer?
Some of you probably said that there is nothing wrong with the list. It’s a list of all the planets in the solar system. Well, yes, it was.
But, unfortunately, there is something wrong with that list. Pluto is no longer considered a major planet, and this has been true as of 2006.
Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has always been a bit of an oddball as a planet. It was the smallest, but it was out beyond the four giant planets. And its orbit was well above the other planets. In short, it just didn’t fit.
Have you ever felt like Pluto? You try your best to fit into a group, only to find out that, despite everything, your attempts to fit in end in failure. I know I’ve been down that road many times, and it’s not pleasant to contemplate.
But there’s another way to look at it. Yes, Pluto was demoted to what is now called a “dwarf planet,” but when it happened, a remarkable transformation took place. It went from being the runt of the litter to (as of this writing) the second-largest known object of its type. From zero to hero.
This classification turned out to be a better fit for Pluto, and it also in no way diminished its uniqueness as a member of the solar system.
This is also true for us here on Earth. We are all members of one family, and we all bring our unique set of strengths to the gathering. When we were designed, God made us all unique, and He knew just how we should use our strengths. Psalm 139 describes us as being “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” (New Living Translation)
So, take heart. If you are disappointed to discover that you’re not a “planet,” keep in mind that something else – something better – is waiting over the horizon. We are all unique, yet we are all of the same family – the children of God.