This morning I get stuck on a voicemail hold with a company that gives "free" trials for makeup products. I got tired of the barrage of ads for Raw Minerals so I decided to give them a try. The trial period was 30 days, except that Seattle snow delayed delivery by a week. Their due date to charge my credit card was 30 days from shipping. I actually had about two weeks to try their products, not 30 days.
When I called the company for a return number because the powders were too drying, I was sent another package of moisturizer. This time I didn't have to pay $10 for postage of the 'freebie.' It doesn't suit my skin, so this morning I call again and wait ten minutes to talk to a live person. ("You are currently second in line, a representative will be with you shortly." Whatever.) After getting a return code, along with, "Did you open the box? Then you have to pay return postage," I get off the phone, toss the brochures I haven't looked at into recycling, empty the makeup contents into the garbage, toss away the packaging, and seal up the box of empty bottles for minimum freight.
One popular Canadian TV show is Style by Jury, where an unsuspecting 'ugly' woman or man is judged on first impressions. After a week of haircut, dental veneers, glamour makeup, a fashion shopping spree, business or bombshell coaching, and perhaps even psychological help, the person faces a second jury. The transformation is stunning and the first impression is "Wow!" not "Yuck!" (Hollywood stars had better look fabulous, with all the external manipulation available.)
All these miracle products and vitamins, all the annoying muzak to suffer through while buying or returning the trappings of attractiveness, all the vain attempts to look better, younger, and more eye-catching... I both amused and saddened by efforts of my generation to keep our youth. With the best mirrors available, we delude ourselves into thinking we can stay young and fresh. We're getting saggy, plump or skeletal, and wrinkly as our bodies slide through middle age to old age. That's the way the body is designed to work in every generation!
I'm glad God weighs the renewal of the heart, not the deterioration of our skin. This Valentines weekend, I'm privileged to enjoy the company of friends aging alongside me. My husband and I will sit across the tables of two big dinner groups. Ages will range from late 30s to 80s. Through the eyes of love, every face will glow with inner beauty, if not with eternal youth.
*God's way is perfect. All the LORD's promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect. …You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping." Psalm 18:30–32, 36 NLT
*My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Proverbs 2:1-8 NIV
*Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26 NLT
*But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26 NIV