If one does it, the others must
Are we really all followers…..it seems we are. The Bible talks about us being sheep. Have you ever spent time with a sheep? Yes, I know, I was born a country girl….and got the privilege of raising sheep though 4-H. Well, from my limited knowledge of 2 years of raising them….I found that truly sheep are stupid. I loved my sheep, we made a bond right away. I spent the first 24 hours w/my little sheep (singular). That special little lamb wouldn’t ever get out of it’s pen, unless I wasn’t the one to be there to feed it. They follow you where ever you go, hence, Mary’s Little Lamb…..loyalty. I hope we people have that much loyalty when it comes to our Good Shepherd.
I started off with this, it’s been a thought in my head….for a life time. Growing up in a culture with an awareness (I think too strongly) of what others are doing, trying to be alike, trying to figure out who we are. But we seem to be like twins, looking at one another….and if the other looks good, then so must we. Or if we don’t trying to change our selves to be identical to the other we are looking at. (Do you get that? My twins look to each other to see that they are ok, they are a comfort to one another, not a bad thing, as long as, they also get to know themselves separately from the other). What I’m trying to put into words, is that I think we as a culture – maybe this is human kind? – we try to find our value in what others think, we want to be individuals, yet copy one another. And I think the biggest challenge and biggest honor to God, is to be who we were created to be. God wasn’t trying to clone us to be a like….sure we have things in common that bond us to one another, say being a twin…(just having fun).
On a even more personal note, I have watched my kids, copy one another, if one does it, then the next must try it. From what I say “No” to, to just all wanting to spit in the trash can for some odd reason. Sitting here watching it made me realize I want to learn to follow God’s lead. I sometimes feel I have a built in mechanism for man’s approval, and the past few years are finally freeing me (well, really it’s my walk w/Jesus), but feel like I’m beginning to get a life long lesson, just a bit more.
I think some of these thoughts were stirring as I thought of how I’ve changed in the past years. Finally, getting lessons God’s been loving trying to help me learn. The beauty of loving your kids, is sometimes you finally begin to see more of God’s love for yourself. Not having to prove myself or gain other people’s recognition. Losing pride, and even our former selves = in a natural and spiritual sense.
I have watched a few (not all) extended family members comment to me and various siblings over our life time of looks. Do we look fat? Do we look to thin? Surprisingly…yes, I know, I used to think I was fat, when I was a very thin teen. I realized as I’ve learned to love myself (and my body for God’s creation), having kids and the metamorphosis (Thanks, Sesame Street for a bigger vocabulary today) my body (and life) has taken. Thankful and praying that I will continue to learn to know God’s love for myself and for others….I really don’t want to be 80+ years old and still thinking about these issues of body identity (or whatever we call it). I want to focus my life on loving (and being healthy). I do enjoy being healthy, I’m still balancing out loving my body in it’s changes of life and knowing that who I am is not just my outer appearance. The inner shines forth….and I know LOVE is the most attractive thing. It’s not that I don’t sometimes struggle the balance of taking care of myself and the messages I ‘hear’ in our world….like I should be “that Mom who has 3 wonderful boys and looks great, too”…….really I’m wanting to get that the heart matters most.
I am most thankful for a Mom, who never made our looks an issue, maybe even balanced on the side of not really mention our outer beauty as much. But it’s always made me listen to God’s voice, and learn to shut off the other voices I hear….of comparisions, looks, being liked, etc….kind of teen-age views we may not have grown out of. Confidence is so beautiful when put on.
This is still a lesson I’m learning….I don’t have it all, but am thankful to love and be loved.
My Dad is always encouraging me to read the book of Romans (in the Bible), to know my identity more…..he could tell I struggled with it for quite some time. But miracles do happen (and are still happening).
So…today I’m putting on my garmets of Praise!
And back to my kids…who are busy reading the phone book…I know weird and cute!