“…You need milk, not solid food!” – Hebrews 5:12
Every year the high school I graduated from hosts an “After-Prom Party” that gives students a safe and entertaining place to spend the hours after prom. It helps insure that students are not irresponsible and out drinking and driving. There are games, music and tons of giveaways for all in attendance.
My senior year the theme was “reality shows” and the games and photo opportunities had to do with the reality shows that were popular at the time. There was a jungle looking photo booth for survivor. There was also a “who wants to be a millionaire” game where for every question you correctly answered you won tickets for the raffle prizes. The most memorable game station for me was the “Fear Factor” booth.
At this booth a blind fold was placed over your eyes and you were fed something without knowing what it was. You had the choice of continuing on knowing that it was going to continue to get even more gross. Basically the game started with a somewhat decent tasting baby food and then continued through 3 or 4 more types of baby food where by the end the individuals were gagging over a trash can trying not to throw up. It was the perfect game for high school kids to enjoy.
Anyway, this experience came to my mind this afternoon as I was doing my devotions. Hebrews 5:12-14 tells us that there is a time and a place for baby food in our lives. When we were born we ate milk or formula, which at the time was good, but we moved on to bigger and better tasting foods. We began to taste foods that were full of spices and flavors. We began to taste meat, french fries and my favorite of all ice cream. We are able to handle these foods because our bodies have matured. In the same way our relationship with Christ is the same way.
When I first became a Christian my thought was “can I *insert random sin here* and still go to heaven?” I wanted to do the least amount possible and still be safe. When we mature we realize that our relationship with Christ is less about us enjoying the pleasures of this world and more about laying down our entire lives for Him.
I saw a video of a cat walking on a fence the other day on one of those television shows that shows funny videos. It was hilarious to see how awkwardly the cat looked walking on the fence, but then I thought “I wonder if that is how we look to God when we are on the fence.” We want to have one foot in the world to enjoy the pleasures that the we perceive the world has to offer, but then we want to make sure we keep enough of our body on God’s side in order to keep ourselves safe.
What would it look like if instead of standing close to the fence…we ran away from it? We ran away from the world and towards God. We left behind the desire to please ourselves, have things of this world and crave sin and instead ran toward God. Surrendering our lives to a holy and loving God.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is…” Colossians 3:1
My wife and I are expecting the birth of our first child, a baby girl, on June 4th. We are beyond excited for the arrival of Norah Mae and cannot wait until she is here with us. Every time I think about holding her awesome little self in my arms it brings a smile to my face. I can’t wait to lay her in my arms and watch Cubs games and spend Sundays with her watching football.
We’ve begun the process of painting her bedroom and it wasn’t the easiest thing in the world. We are currently renting a house and the bedroom we designated as Norah’s was painted DARK blue. Not even a normal blue….but a blue so dark that it almost dares you to try to cover it up with a lighter color. We primed the wall and it was as if the blue was whispering “I can still see youuuuuuuuu.” We painted the walls with the color of pink and we crossed our fingers that it wouldn’t shine through. Luckily for the most part it covered up most of the blue, but there are still spots where you can see the blue.
I’m okay with some of the spots having a blue tint, but what makes me nervous is what others will think if they see the blue tint. I don’t want people to see the imperfections. I don’t want people to see the spots because then they will know that I’m not the best painter. That I’m not the “handy man who I’m supposed to be.
The same goes with our lives. We try to cover up our sins because then people will know that we’re not perfect. We walk into church every Sunday with a smile on our face, our hand done perfectly and we even make sure we sit up straight in the pew. Why do we do all this? Because we want to convince everyone around us that we have it all together. It is like we pretend that we jump out of the bed in the morning with a smile on our face. I can’t tell you the last time I jumped out of bed, let alone with a smile on my face.
I’m not meaning to make it seem like you need to run around telling everyone your hurts, habits or hang-ups, but maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Maybe if we realized that the people who sit with us in the pews aren’t perfect. That a person or family that looks like they have everything together; may actually not. We need to stop trying to become this false image of people and families around us and instead put our focus on becoming more like Christ.