Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
II Corinthians 5: 17 (NIV)
I’ve always felt that children’s books are often as relevant and helpful for adults as they are for the children for whom they’re ostensibly written. At least for those adults who still have the sense of child-like wonder God placed within them in when they were born—like you and me, for instance.
Adults, like us, who don’t take ourselves too seriously, and don’t always have to be right. Those of us who don’t see the glass as half-empty, but instead always see it as filling up! Who still see the possibility and potential in the world around us no matter how difficult or disappointing things may seem at times, remembering that God is still on the throne and in control.
I have many favorite children’s books such as: “Leo the Lop;” “You Can Do It!”; “The Little Prince;” “Hope for the Flowers;” “Just in Case You Ever Wonder;” and many others. And another one of my favorites is a classic example of a book which resonates with adults who are still reaching to live the life that God really intended them to live. Maybe you’ve read it or had it read to you recently—the “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
Let me share a brief portion of it with you—
“There once was a Velveteen Rabbit, and in the beginning when he was given to the boy he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink satin.
He lived in the toy cupboard and sometimes on the nursery floor, and the more expensive toys usually didn’t pay any attention to him. So amidst the mechanical toys, the model boat, the toy soldiers and the wooden lion, the poor little rabbit felt very commonplace and insignificant…he longed to feel important…he longed to be a Real rabbit…and the only toy that was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the other toys, and he had seen a long succession of mechanical and other fancy toys swagger in and eventually break and pass away. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in spots and most of his hair had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise and understood what life was really all about.
“What is “REAL”, asked the rabbit one day. “Real, isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse, “but when someone loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real. It doesn’t usually happen to people who break easily or have to be carefully kept…and who [usually need to be the center of attention].”
“I suppose you’re Real?” said the rabbit. The Skin Horse smiled and said “the boy’s Uncle loved me and made me Real a great many years ago…and once you’re Real you can’t become unreal again…it lasts for always.”
Here’s a question for you: are you “REAL?”
The excerpt from the story of the Velveteen Rabbit is over—now I’m asking you: Are you “real?” Just so you know, I’m asking myself the same question.
It’s an important question for us to consider for the living of each day of the lives we have left, before too many other ones go by. Are you trying to become all that God created you to be and all He expects you to be? Or are you just putting up a good front, and trying to put on the appearance of a “good life” for the world, by trying to be all that society expects you to be? Sadly that’s a waste of our time, and our life, and it’s a journey down a dead end road bound to elicit a quizzical look, and a question like “Why?” from God, when we kneel before Him in eternity.
Let me lift up again what Paul said, recorded in II Corinthians 5:17, and set out above—
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!”
Let’s be clear—once we’re in Christ we are always in Christ. But every now and then—more for some of us than others—we need to check the alignment of our lives and direction, with His will.
Is your life aligned with what Christ would have you do, or is it more in line with what society wants you to do? Is your life wrapped in Christ and guided by Christ—embracing all the ups and downs of life, believing He still has His hands on your life in all those moments and is molding you into the person He created you to be?
Do you let the “press clippings” of the day determine whether you are a good person, or not-so-good person on any particular day? Or do you work that out—as a new creation—with the God you try to follow?
Do you seek acknowledgement, recognition and adulation from those around you and elsewhere in our social media-gone-nuts-world, to help you feel worthwhile? Or do you have bald spots and hair pulled out in places like the Skin Horse, because of the time you’ve spent with your children, grandchildren or other family and friends who need you?
How are you doing on being real? I mean really being real. Me, too.
Maybe you and I should take a moment to check in with the God, who made us a new creation in Christ, for an assessment and to help us to get our feet back on the track that follows Him.
The track toward being “real.”
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2014. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.