|Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt|
Every other Wednesday I spend part of the day at our church helping to prepare the evening meal. It's fun, it gives me a reason to get out of the house and do something different, and no one has died from my cooking yet. Sometimes we hit a lull in the cooking and prep work and the conversation turns to other things. Yesterday it turned to handwriting.
I will admit, my handwriting looks like the scrawl of a fifth-grader...except that most fifth-graders are probably a lot more neat and intentional about their handwriting than I am. (Remember those days of carefully crafting your loops, and dotting your i's with little hearts, or creating flowers on the end of your name?) Over the years I've gotten lazy. And then I married and decided there were entirely too many 't's in my full name so I started rushing through them. Result? A crazed scrawl that makes my last name look like my first and neither of them look anywhere close to legible.
Enter my pastor's wife, Anne. (Might I add, Anne with the nice short first and last name who does not have a total of 16 letters to write every time she signs her name...) I think she was appalled at my poor penmanship, at any rate, she took it upon herself to try to get me excited enough about my name that I would want to practice writing it, to get me to be intentional about how I sign my name. And so I practiced (and she pulled my practice sheets out of the trash to see how it was coming). And a funny thing happened as I was practicing; I realized that I WANTED my signature to look better. So yes, I'm going to keep on practicing and one day I'm going to knock her socks off with the stylistic beauty of my signature. OK, maybe not THAT great.
How many times do we start to get lazy about our identity in Christ? Day after day we get up, say some perfunctory prayers, go to church, just the minimum to feel like we've signed our 'Christian' signature. Christ wants more than that though. He wants us to get EXCITED about the identity he's given us through his name. No sloppy, hurried scrawls for him. He wants us to shine, to bring out the pizazz and the sparkle of a life that has been redeemed! The only way to get there is through practice, practice, practice. Every day, looking for ways to highlight the unique God-light shining in our lives. It's not going to look the same for everyone. My signature, when I perfect it, will be my own. More legible, but still my own. My way of shining God's light is never intended to look like anyone else's way, only like the identity that God has given me.
How can you practice perfecting your identity in Christ today?
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)