October 1, 2013
I happened to walk through our living room last night while Dancing With the Stars was on. It occurred to me that I could probably care less who stays-goes or who wins in the end… I’m just not sure HOW I could care less. Sort of like so many other things on T.V. or in our world; i.e., which bachelor picks which young woman? Which team “survives”? Who crosses the finish line first in the “Great Race”? What Kate is wearing today? Who’s pregnant in the celebrity world? Who’s getting married to whom in Hollywood? What Lady Gaga has to say about anything? What outrageous thing Miley is doing these days? And on and on and on… I’m not being disparaging of those who do care about these things… Go ahead and read your National Inquirer and have a fulfilled life. Just kidding… sort of.
I’m not actually being critical of those who care about meaningless things. After all I sort of care if the Pirates win their playoff game tonight. And I would like to see the Steelers turn their season around. But in the larger, more important scheme of things, well, these issues are far from significant.
When I realize that I am not particularly interested in some of the things mentioned in the first paragraph it makes me think of my dad. When I was younger I was perplexed by how he could know so little about or care about things that I thought were earthshaking. How he could not be familiar with the Beatles and know the words to their latest songs mystified me! He might have known if the Steelers were in the Super Bowl or the Pirates in the World Series but no one in Pittsburgh would have cared less than him. These were not things that interested him in the least. So when I realize I have such little concern for things that do in fact interest others… well these horrifying thoughts come into my mind… I HAVE BECOME MY DAD! Well okay probably not… but there are many qualities and gifts he had that I would love to possess!!
A question I sometimes ask adults: What qualities of your mother and father do you exhibit? Some folks detest that question while others are happy to talk about it. The truth is, you are who you are because of those who came before you… who are you like? What attributes do you have in your life that came from someone else? Who are you becoming? I know, I know… you’re your own person… blah, blah, blah. If you think others have had no impact in forming you then you might as well stop reading this now and go back to la la land. If not, then again, who has impacted you the most in making you the person you are now?
Let me then expand this question: Who SHOULD you be? What sort of person should you be developing into? Your father, mother, sibling, best friend, some hero… Well as Christians that answer is simple right? We are called through the power of the Holy Spirit to be like Jesus. Yeah I know, we will never be perfect in this world, but that is the standard. That’s what we strive for. We are called to live lives free of sin. I know that we are not saved by what we do and by how close to perfection we come. We are saved by Gods free grace. But that doesn’t mean we then get a free pass to live however we want. Nor does it mean we don’t have to “morph” into something else. We are called in fact to be “transformed.” It is nice to emulate good people… it is essential and imperative that we become like Jesus.
I grow weary of hearing about the things that are happening in various churches around the country when there is so little talk about whether lives are being transformed (and that includes Mt Vernon). Transformation in the lives of people toward Christ Likeness is the standard for churches, not how many folks attend, how great the preacher is, how amazing the band is…
Who are you becoming today?