Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Her Pink Shoes

"Everyone needs to get in the car NOW!!" I am screaming once again from the kitchen. Always in a hurry, always running late, the bustle and hustle of a frenzied family- trying to do lessons, exercise, go to practices-all these luxuries that fill and overflow our days, sometimes to the point of breaking.

"Does Anna have socks and shoes on, Emily?"
"Um...yes. She has socks and shoes on..."
"Well, please bring her out to the car, then!"

I get a quick glimpse of Anna and I am jolted-yes jolted out of this fumbling moment. Little girl, stands so proud in her shorts, arms stuffed with clothes, pink shoes and bold socks speak confidence. What makes me grab my camera in a moment that might have normally set me fussing again?

In that moment, I see what most of us adults lack: self confidence. The ability to me who I am in the face of all that is not me. Every day, in so many ways, I know why the Lord tells us to become like children!

He tells us :

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)

The droplets of water, settling on a limb, they seek to conform...but in pulling forth, in moving on, in not conforming, they become beautiful.

Why is it that we teach our children to conform in so many damaging ways, and then we're surprised that they do not think on their own, express their feelings, come up with new ideas?

I walked on this icy morning, and I thought about Conformity. There is a healthy and helpful conformity that binds people together. We cannot just all go about doing and saying whatever we want. That is not the conformity that Paul speaks of. He is speaking against the dangerous conformity that lures our hearts and minds away from the will of God.

So if not conform, then what?

"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

We need to renew...RE-NEW, make new over and over, our minds- every day, every moment. We must take time to read God's word, pray, meditate, keep still and quiet..and feel our minds being transformed.

And this transformation? Why? So that we can:

"prove what the will of God is."

By NOT conforming to this world, by renewing our minds and hearts, we become A testimony to others of WHO GOD IS.

When we say "No!" to the world, when we choose not to conform in ways that are harmful to the dignity of life, when we make the choice to do the right thing at the cost of rejection, we become an instrument of God.

It's so difficult, and I fail in so many ways, every day, but that's why we have to continually be renewed...for the strength to make good choices.

I think one of the reasons I find nature so healing, is because of what it teaches me about God.

All nature conforms perfectly with the will of God precisely through its nonconformity. All nature speaks of the symmetry and perfection of a loving creator who molded each droplet, chiseled every crystal, curled each leaf into a manifesto of exquisite nonconformity.

All the details of a landscape, their differences orchestrated into one grand masterpiece, reveal that nonconformity, in the hands of a loving father, conforms to perfection.

And we, in our nonconformity, and through the renewing of our minds, can be brought to perfection in Christ who has deemed us His greatest masterpiece.

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I come home from my walk, mind renewed, to a small girl shivering, wanting Mama. I see pink boots on huddled legs, and hope that one day I can be like that little girl.