Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New creation

Have you ever been super excited about something--I mean jumping up and down, wanting to tell the whole world excited--yet no one else seems to fully comprehend why you're going so crazy? Let me give you an example. This past weekend, I went to Texas A&M's ring weekend. My twin sister, Katie, got her Aggie ring, which is monumental at A&M. Sure, it's cool to get your ring at other schools (I got mine from Baylor last fall), but at A&M, you look forward to getting your ring starting at fish camp before freshman year even begins. The anticipating builds and builds until you have FINALLY completed 90 hours and are eligible for that Aggie bling. The day of the Aggie ring ceremony is full of excitement and chaos. After you get that ring (with thousands of your closest friends), you probably have a ring dunk ceremony. At the ring dunk, you put your Aggie ring in a pitcher of any liquid of your choice. You then proceed to chug said drink as fast as you can until the liquid is all gone and you catch the ring in your mouth. Because you're chugging liquid so fast, you will probably either spit a lot of it out or throw up, all seen by your friends and family, of course. Then, BOOM, you're officially part of the Aggie family and can show it off to the world by the ring on your right ring finger. 

The ring dunk probably sounds crazy to people who haven't been around the tradition. Hey, it even sounds crazy to some Aggies! Why in the world would you want to put your new, shiny ring in a pitcher of liquid, chug it, and potentially throw up in front of everyone you know? I can't explain it. But let me tell you, those Aggies get SO excited! I've never seen a group of people so pumped about such a strange and disgusting thing (sorry Katie) in my life. The hype around the tradition just doesn't make sense, but that's because I'm not actively a part of the Aggie life or any of the traditions involved. 

I had an epiphany on the drive home from College Station. As a Christian striving to obey Christ and follow Him, shouldn't my life make about as much sense to a person who's not a Christian as an Aggie rink dunk makes to any non-Aggie? 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 says, "from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." As Christians, we can love others with a kind of love that's completely foreign to people who are not in Christ because we are a new creation. They should look at us and be confused as to how we can love ALL people with such a powerful kind of love. Hebrews 13:6 says, "So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'" We have no reason to fear the future, which is completely countercultural to today's society. The world tells us to race forward to make a legend for ourselves as fast as possible so that OUR names will continue and tells us to ensure that our names are superior to all others. The Bible tells us that our fears of man and temporary things are unnecessary--the Lord is by our side, and glorifying His name is the only thing that matters in this world. Matthew 23:11-12 says, "The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Christians are called to be servants and to humble ourselves, while the world says to build your ego up as much as possible and to do everything you can to get ahead. 

The world should not understand the way we live our lives. They should look at how excited we get about Jesus and stop to wonder. They should think we're a little crazy for our actions and attitudes, because that's just not "how things are done". Back to the Aggie ring dunk. The whole weekend made no sense to me because I'm not an Aggie. But to Katie, that day was probably one of the highlights of her college career. Now, think about your life. Does it make people who don't believe in Christ wonder about you? Is living for Christ's glory by following Him the purpose of your life? Do people outside of the Christian faith struggle to understand why you make sacrifices, why you love like you do, and why you serve others with such joy? 

 Lord God, thank you for making me a new creation in you! Change me from the inside out. 

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