Hello there!…*smiles*… Welcome! Akwaaba! (That means welcome in Twi – Ghana…don’t ask me how I know). Thanks for stopping by. I’m so happy I can’t believe myself. You mean someone actually reads this stuff?. That’s quite something. Okay, enough of the soppy mushiness… Let’s move on to adult matters.
The other time we were talking about what now…food! Well, maybe not food, food but am sure that’s what you remembered. Actually the main point was salt and not the food (sorry to disappoint y’all foodies). Now, thing is, we talked about salt, salt, salt and you were probably thinking, “Look I know I have to be the salt but how do I be?” So that brings me to today’s topic.
I remember a time when we were doing some major cleanings at home and we needed to rid our house of some useless junk…like old books, old clothes and other minuscule thingies that had out-stayed their usefulness in the house. So imagine said to me, “Oyin, I need you to pack all your old books, clothes, shoes and what-nots out of here.” That said, she waltzed out and I proceeded to do as I was told. I packed them, sorting them in a neat pile. With the stuffs out, Mum brought some boxes and we put the junks in there.
Three days later and we were all basking in the wonderful and un-junkful euphoria of our home. All the while I was waiting for the shoe to drop, I don’t know why, but I just knew something would go wrong, especially with the way my room looked really….bare. Then it happened. I found out I had mistakenly packed an important document in the box, can’t quite remember its content now but it was super important *nods head*. I was horrified, to say the least. How could I have been so careless? I paid for it…big time.
Remembering that experience drew me back to some issues which I want to share. Do you remember Apostle Paul? The man who wrote over 10 books in the New Testament, the persecutor-turned-persecuted? Yeah, him. But sadly, as wonderful as he was this post isn’t about him but about what he wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit…
“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.” (Paul, in Romans 12:2 – NIV).
Okay now allow me give you an analogy of what Bro. Paul was saying. You remember that my box and junk saga? Well, this is what he was saying; the world has prepared this neat little box for us, all clean and cosy, where they can easily classify and figure us out (like I labelled my box). Now, when they do that, they make sure the place outside that box doesn’t look so appealing so that one is tempted to remain in the box. But, do they just make the box for us so we can stand or probably wrestle a seat with someone? No sir, they just give you a very beautiful and nice sofa, with a mattress sef, if you want to sleep…all warm and comfy aren’t ya?
Well, you see that’s the aim. The world system is built that way, where we can easily feel so comfortable and where our flesh can feel sooo at home…because our flesh is very compatible with the world. When the box is all set; nice and cosy, complete with the comfy couch, the next thing they do is to find ways to get us to fit into it. Why? Because they don’t understand us! They can’t figure us out, our lives are hid in Christ and Christ in God (scriptures abound on who we really are…study them. It’s A-mazing!), they don’t get it so they try to fit us into where they can understand us! And by so doing, they’re packing us (the important documents…remember?) with the “junk box”. Imagine how God feels about that! (Worse than how I felt when I realised my folly).
Apostle Paul told us not to conform to their standard, not to fit into the neat little boxes by renewing our minds, why? So we can know what God wants for us…because if we know what God wants and who we are in Him, we would stop trying to fit in. In essence he is saying; “You’ve got to think outside the box…and not just that but also live out of it! Because God is not in the box”. Get it?
Now, if we’re not going to fit in, we will be having slight issues with the world. Listen to what Jesus said:
“If you lived with the world on its own terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you on God’s terms no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you” (Jesus, in John 15:18-19).
If you know how hard and frustrating it can be to fit into a box something much bigger than it, then you’ll understand how the world feels when you don’t fit nicely into their neat little boxes. I know it’s hard to stand outside the box and be the “weird one” and we also care so much what others think of us, I mean there are times I just feel, “Com’on everyone’s doing it. It’s no biggie” but then I remember that I am much bigger than the box…that’s not weirdness, that’s class! Although, of course sometimes I still do fall into the box! But when we fall in, we shouldn’t pick up the next available seat and sit smugly but we should try to get out of the box by renewing our minds…with God’s word.
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognise what He wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Paul, in Romans 12:2 – The Message Bible).
Sums it up nicely doesn’t it? Yeah, I thought so too.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for making me such a great person with you that the world cannot even comprehend me. Please, forgive me for living below your standard and help me not to fit into the box or seat comfortably but help me stand out. Here I am in the box with my hands stretched out, please help me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.