Friday, December 23, 2011

Peculiarities and Philippians 2

    I am a music major. And like most music majors I’m slightly crazy and just a little bit, well, strange. It’s not abnormal to see me walking around campus with a metronome singing a Bach fugue or tapping the lunch table with my fingertips practicing a tricky rhythm. I have been known to analyze piano music simply for the fun of it and I will listen to the same two measures of a Beethoven sonata dozens of times to see if Alfred Brendel really made a mistake there or not. I often get strange looks from people walking down the street when they hear me clapping difficult rhythms and I have gotten exasperated eye rolls from passengers in my car when I suggest listening to classical NPR and playing ‘guess the composer.’ Most people who know me have accepted my peculiarities and write it off to the fact that I’m a music major.

    Several days ago I began to consider: some of my strange characteristics can be so easily pinned to my devoted study of music, but do people notice some of the marked peculiarities of a Christ-follower in me? Do my most defining traits reflect a heart devoted to Christ and a life dedicated to making him known? Do people see me living my life for Jesus and wonder what makes the difference in me? Most people know I go to a Bible college and that I’m a Christian, but do they look at how interact with others and how I react to the things in my life and see that I’m really different and maybe even peculiar because I follow Jesus? Difficult questions to be sure, and humbling answers to consider.

    “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart” (2 Corinthians 3:18-4:1).

    Although my life does bear the image of Christ, that image is still severely marred and doesn’t reflect him as it should. But God is faithful and he’s in it for the long haul, molding and shaping my life to look more like Jesus each and every day. So I’ll press on and strive to live the life that God has called me to, a life that will look peculiar, backwards, upside down, and out-of-place in this badly broken world. I’ll fail and I’ll make a mess of things, and sometimes I’ll have to backtrack and take detours in order to get back on the right path. I’ll want to give up sometimes, but God will never give up on me. By his grace I’ll continue to grow, learn, change, and become more and more like Jesus. With my hand in his I’ll keep going. I’ll persevere and continue to pursue him. And I pray that as I follow him it will be evident to others, that my life will look just a little bit more peculiar each day.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” –Philippians 2:14-16

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