Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Who do you want to be?" she asked.

An interesting video clip from Indonesia shows a little jawfish camouflaging himself by mimicking an octopus. The strange thing is that that particular kind of octopus often imitates a fish.

We spend a lot of time trying to be someone else. If we inventoried our lives, the things we've seen, where we've traveled or grown up, who raised us, and our education (at school or on the job) in a neutral checklist, other people would affirm that each of us has a lot to offer.

Some of us work well with our hands and can repair almost anything. One of the missionary husbands in my study was renowned in Africa: the first update noted he'd taken apart an engine to the missionary vehicle, sent for parts, and put it back together, to the relief of everyone at that mission station.

Some of us remember facts or numbers. My husband and son pack their brains with obscure information and can recall it. (When I pack mine, info falls out as I walk up the driveway and the wind blows it away.) I know several academic geniuses who have entire libraries at their beck and call... in their heads.

Some of us recreate God's beauty in art, music, words, and buildings. We live in a swirl of creativity, and ever-changing flourish of show-and-tell. Casey Klahn at The Colorist is one such creator. I always learn something new about seeing and being seen, looking at and reading his blog.

If I had a flat tire, I'd want AAA, not someone writing papers to secure tenure at a university. For my dissertation, I need academic advice, not a beautiful oil painting. To frame a picture, I need an artist's eye, not a house framer. Mind you, not all of those skills are exclusive: some people can "do it all." God said he would gift some with many talents, but they would be accountable for them all, too.

So often we look at others and wish we were like them. Prettier. Smarter. More skillful. But God said our only job -- single or married, rich or poor, parent or child, "red and yellow, black and white" (yeah that S. School song is politically incorrect, but notice the "white" is last and more correctly "pink" among the songwriter's limited crayons) -- is to conform to "the image of his Son."

I don't think God cares much whom we marry or if we stay unmarried. He probably doesn't lose sleep if we take a job at Sears or Microsoft or farm our grandfather's acreage. As we constantly align ourselves with him, we begin to take on characteristics that identify us as his children, and that pleases him.

It would be fun to make a checklist of all we are and where we've been:
  • Family/background
  • Friends, since childhood
  • Influencers and mentors
  • Education and training
  • Jobs
  • Churches we've attended or where we've had membership
  • Small groups (work, church, community)
  • Volunteer ops
  • Things we tried that failed
  • Things we tried that flew
  • Things that we took over from someone else
  • Things others took over from us
  • Etc.
Our lives are full and rich, whoever we are. Let's devote this one life, each of us, to the Father of lights, in whom there is no shadow of turning. The only other choice is to let the-one-who-destroys bring "wonderful us" to ruin.

Read more:
*The LORD is my light and my salvationwhom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my lifeof whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:1-5 NIV

* Psalm 4; Genesis 5; Matthew 2:13-23

*With many dreams come vanities and a multitude of words; but fear God. Ecclesiastes 5:7

Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. Revelation 15:4

Moravian Prayer: God, the world is so enticing to us - we want to taste everything. Our minds are cluttered with desire. You alone are worthy of our desire and worship. Today we devote ourselves wholly to you. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment