Upon our arrival to our current military station, Richard was given a bunch of welcome material from several organizations--an oven mitt from the fire station, pamphlets from various groups, a water bottle. One odd little thing was a small foam head with a tuft of feathery hair. On his face is a look of great distress, and if you hit the bottom hard enough, he lets out some phrases reminding you to chill out: "Relax, calm down now, don't stress, take it easy!" I don't even remember now where it came from.
That foam head is popular now with the baby, even though the sound chip is near the end of its life, but the axioms put forth hold a not insignificant nugget of wisdom. Relax! Calm down! Don't stress! Take it easy!
I could go many directions when writing about or pondering those words, but I want to focus on one that probably wouldn't come to mind first: don't stress about being different.
Define "different" however you want--in looks, in nationality, in fashion, in a love of whipped cream on Pringles (don't knock it till you've tried it! I recommend doing it with plain Pringles). In the words of Veggie Tales' Bob the Tomato, God made you special, and he loves you very much!
We do not belong to this earth.
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3:20)
We are children of God, baptized into his death, his hands and feet in this broken world. We were once bowed down with sin, but praise God, he took that burden from us, and we walk free! So now it is our responsibility as human beings to help guide others toward the light that can free them also and make them citizens of heaven along with us.
We are different! And that is awesome!
Isn't that kind of a relief? We don't have to fit in—we will fit in when we get to heaven, so we shouldn't worry about it so much during our time here on earth. Relax, calm down now, don't stress, take it easy! Besides, with God's promise to take our worries and burdens, we shouldn't waste time and energy stressing over something we can't change, for "who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?" (Luke 12:25) Not that he promises anyone a life of ease (ever read Job's story?), but we at least have the assurance that everything is in his hands.
“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.”
I love that verse. God's basically saying DON'T fit in. Eat that whipped cream on your Pringles with renewed enthusiasm! “Pray continually,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) dive into his word to renew your mind, seek out his will.
How can you be different today? Shine the light God has given you in this dark world to help show the way to a new citizenship in heaven!
See You In The Round!
*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.