Monday, 11 January 2016

The Freedom to Choose

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. (Romans 13:14)

We have Flutterby's. Gossamer-winged and delicate, though strong enough to fly against the gusty wind. At the time when I planted a struggling honeysuckle creeper against the back fence, I had no idea it was going to turn into a wild and verdant vine, twisting its way under, over, through and around everything in its way. But it has brought the butterflies. Their flitting dances bring moments of lightness, grace and colour onto the moving canvass outside my kitchen window. There are the Monarchs, amber beings with bold black markings. Different varieties of Emperors, varying from a striking black and white to dusky shades of orange and yellow. Garden Acreas with small bottom wings and a sheer overlaying pair, which shimmer in the sun. Most recent visitors are two large black and blue beauties, which seem like two perfect paper cut-outs tossed onto the breeze. I watch, in awe of the Artist who created these creatures, their function, the way they have made our mountain abode their home.

I have been observing these aerial dances for a long time, while doing dishes or preparing meals. Not with scientific interest, I just find their lightness irresistible. It came to me the other day that God did not merely speak each creature into being. He took pains. With each minute part of creation, the perfection of its function, the grace of its movements, the splendour and variety of its colour.

I saw in stark contrast my own approach to some of my daily tasks. One may argue, I am not the Creator of the Universe and my small environment cannot exactly be compared to the vast cosmos upheld by His hand.

But if I am made in His image, with His imprint on all of me, should it not be my heart's desire to do all as if a fragrant and beautiful offering to the King of Kings? It would not change me into a higher being or a more serene mother (that would be a bonus...), but it would reflect more of the shining glory of Jesus who lives in me.

Halfway through my morning duties, I felt myself being halted and I saw the resentful state of my heart. True, there was no one to witness it, but I know a clanging gong when I hear one.

It is quite simple really. I have a choice. I can be the bricklayer putting one stone on top of the other, or I can be shaping a cathedral. A temple. A home where the Holy Spirit dwells. I can throw on a spirit of heaviness each day, or choose a garment of praise. I can clothe myself with kindness, gentleness, compassion, patience, humility. Or give in to the selfish needs of my flesh. I can bear the fruit of Him who lives in me, which is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, or I can choose to mirror the spirit of the times we live in, of this world.

I can pay attention to more detail. To dew-locked spiderwebs, distinctive bird songs, the eye-lock moments with my children, their sweet features, changing all too fast. The tired slope of my husband's shoulders at the end of the day, the loneliness of a neighbour. To the words I speak, the blessings I am able to give, the riches I am able to share. I can borrow a brush from the Master and imitate His strokes. The loving singularity of His grace.

We can choose to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ who in all His faultless beauty covers all our shortcomings, flaws and sins.

The bride steps from the cleansing flood and is handed a pure white linen robe and crown. She may wear it and be renewed in an instant, or cover it with her rags to save it and keep it spotless until she is ready to shine. The day is now. She chooses. Her Beloved smiles.

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