Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Standing out from the crowd seems to be the direction God is taking me these days. A few days ago God was talking to me about not hiding my love, and today it is about letting my light shine. I live under this umbrella of fear of being held to a standard I cannot keep. In other words, if I let my Light shine and people know I am totally sold out for Jesus, what will happen when I fail, as I most assuredly will. I will be called a fraud, a liar, or worst of all dismissed completely. I will lose all credibility. Or will I? The truth is the credibility is not mine. It never was. If that was so, I wouldn’t need God. My credibility is the person of Jesus Christ, died on a cross and risen 3 days later defeating death, the grave, sin and oppression. So when I fail, it only proves that I need a Savior and that His blood covers the multitude of my sin. So what am I afraid of?
When I allow the Light of God to shine through me to the world I encounter, I am the most authentic Mary Grace I can be. There is freedom, joy, gratitude, humility, and peace. It is who I am meant to be. I am meant to be a carrier of His light, His love, His peace, and His gospel so that I may point the lost and hurting to Jesus. When I think about who I am and who God created me to be, I see John the Baptist. Yes, people thought he was crazy. Yes, he wore sack cloth and ate locusts. Yet, his sole purpose in life was to prepare and point people to Jesus. I long for that kind of singular focus.
Somewhere along the lines in my life I became a chameleon. I learned how to adapt. I can enter a room and within a few minutes completely alter the personality I allow to show in order to fit in. This is not a way to live. Living as a chameleon left me lonely, isolated, stressed, and anxious. On the contrary, when I stop denying my devotion to Jesus, my absolute love for my Savior, I am free and open to those I meet. It is so much easier to talk and get to know people when you aren’t hiding anything. At times this turns people off and they choose not to get to know me, but unlike my chameleon self, being rejected doesn’t bring sadness or loneliness when I let my Light shine. My acceptance in the world does not matter to me when I allow Jesus to shine.
How well do you let your light shine? Are you a chameleon that changes according to the crowd you are in?
Day 33 was not a bad day. I am very tired, though. I have been having trouble sleeping, and it makes me lack the motivation to get some things done. I still need to make the lentil cottage pie, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it yet. I need to take a day and rest my body, but I’m not very good at that. I take my days off and just run and run, trying to fit everything in on those days. That is not being a good steward of this body that God gave me. I need to learn to stop putting my needs at the bottom of my priority list.
Anyway, I ate oatmeal for breakfast, a smoothie for lunch and pasta salad for dinner. I also ate some chips and hummus and pineapple after work. It doesn’t sound like a lot of food, but the calorie count was high enough. I am trying a new thing where I eat when I am hungry and not just because the clock on the wall says it is time to eat. Novel idea, right? When I was reflecting on the past couple of weeks, I realized I hadn’t heard my stomach growl in a very long time. I was following a set schedule that was randomly chosen and it was causing me to eat way more than I need to eat. Most of time I wasn’t yet hungry when it came time for the next meal. In the spirit of self-discipline as a part of this fast, I am working to listen for my body cues to tell me I am hungry, rather than a pattern that has been handed down over the years. It sounds easy, but I think it will prove to be difficult. We will find out…
Day 33 off to dreamland.