I have a friend who has every reason to be a diva – talented in many, many ways and always the center of attention in any group she comes into simply because of the warmth and attractiveness of her personality. A diva is by definition a very talented female performer, usually a singer, and it doesn’t have to imply someone who is difficult or high maintenance, but in fact it usually does. Perhaps you know a diva, or its male counterpart, a divo?
And yet my friend is the exact opposite of a diva. She always finds ways to help, to make things better, to encourage. Her creativity and passion for any new project sparks my own imagination. What is the opposite of a diva, I mused one day recently. And my silly word gaming brain turned d-i-v-a into a-v-i-d. How much better to be avid than to be a diva, I thought!
I pondered these two words some more. Divas are people who expect others to come to them. They need a circle of admirers that awaits their wishes. On the other hand, the definition of avid includes the idea that one is enthusiastically pursuing something, and reaching out to experience something that is important to that person. The “avid” reader or bicyclist. The “avid” student of human nature.
And it didn’t take me long then to make the jump to our lives as people of faith. Would you rather be a Diva for Christ? Waiting for God to come to you and make an appearance in your life at just the right moment to do the exact things you were expecting or demanding? Or do you want to be Avid for God, enthusiastically pursuing God in the world, among others and in the ordinary and extraordinary situations of our lives?