"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." -- Romans 12:2
I absolutely love this picture! It reminds me of the end of one of my favorite vacations. I was visiting family in Seattle and my aunt and uncle took me to the tulip fields. It was spring, and a very unusually clear and sunny day in Seattle. Standing at the edge of the tulip fields, I could see miles of tulips of every color...with the Cascade Mountains on one side and the Olympic Mountains on the other. It was a stunningly beautiful site, and a lovely experience with two of my favorite people beside me.
This picture also reminds me of how I feel sometimes. A lone red flower in a sea of yellow ones...a "volunteer" stalk of corn in a field of soybeans...a lone peanut in a bag of walnuts...
While I don't always live up to my own high standards...and they are high standards because I want to be like Jesus, I WANT to live in the ways Jesus lived. In a world where religion is either revered by some and looked down on by others, why would I WANT to look toward a religious icon as a way to measure my high standards? Because living like Jesus is NOT a religion...is IS a way of life.
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Ephesians 5:1-2
Jesus Christ was our example...he was fully God AND fully human. He lived on this earth and before he gave himself up for us, he talked with those around him about our heavenly father and God's plans for us. He taught us, he SHOWED us how God wants us to live.
Living every day with these characteristics is not easy. There are days that I don't live up to these high standards. But...I keep trying. I have to admit though, there are days I would rather give in to the very human, selfish feelings that would lead me to be hateful, vindictive, pessimistic, argumentative, and just unpleasant. But, it's just not in me to give up like that.
And that's why I sometimes feel like the one lone red flower is a sea of yellow ones. Too many people give in to those human feelings much too easily. There are days when all I seem to come in contact with are grumpy, negative people. And what is frustrating to me is that many times, some of the grumpiest and most unpleasant people call themselves Christians. I guess it easier to believe in Jesus Christ than it is to act like him.
But, I also know that I am NOT alone. There are many good people in the world, living good lives and with good characteristics. The WORLD may intice and tempt all of us to give in to our human selfish tendancies, but I have faith that you are leading many more of your children reach out to you for help to live the lives the WANT to live.
Father God, you made me the way that I am. You made me WANT to be a good person. I am grateful that you led me to see Jesus as my role model. Thank you for reminders of your love. Help me to be patient with others in the world, but not to give in and conform to the negative ways of the world. Help me to stand proudly in whatever field you plant me in... Amen.