Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Star Differs From Star

Are there things about your house that you really enjoy? I am not talking about your home—as in your family, but as in the actual structure of your house. Are there things about the way it sits or the style or the brick or the windows or fireplace—whatever that make you think, “Good job, Builder, I like that this is…” I am guessing you could fill in the blank pretty easily—especially if you were trying to sell it to someone; you could come up with a list of good things.

But I am guessing that if you have lived in your house very long, you could also think of things that really bug you as well. Am I right? Silly things. Why did they put that light switch there? What were they thinking placing a wall there? Where is the door that is needed for better traffic flow? Mine is this: I wish that our living room had windows that connected with the outside better. I have decided that the architect had never stepped foot on this property, and that he drew the plans without regard as to where the house is. It bugs the daylights out of me—I want to see outside. I am a real outdoor lover, and I feel disconnected from it inside our house. Way before the “bring the outside in” became a style, I have always felt that way. In an attempt to solve my problem, and without $35,000 of removing walls and present windows, I tried mirrors—MUCH cheaper. Set in just the right place, they reflect the outside, and you can see the outside from the inside. It’s the best solution for the price, and it helps me see the trees that surround us better. These mirrors reflect light and make the interior walls feel a bit more exterior. So what does THAT have to do with God?

As a designer, I set the mirrors in different places to reflect the beauty of the outdoors. Each placement has a purpose. Each reflection reveals another angle or view. Each has its own beauty. I solved the problem of something that could not be seen by the use of reflecting the unseen with the seen. As the mirrors were placed in strategic locations, I am able to see what I could not see. It is not that I want to see myself that I put up a lot of mirrors; it is that I wanted to see outside. Mirrors are a way that I could see the reflection of the bigger picture around me that would otherwise remain unseen. Are you catching my drift? It is not about mirrors—it’s about what they reflect and reveal.

We are mirrors for the world to see God better. We are strategically placed to reflect the unseen God to the world around us. At the beginning, God was visible; He walked and talked with Adam and Eve. But when sin entered the picture, so did the massive walls that separated us and blocked our view of God. God places each of us as a way to reflect Him to those who have no view and no idea what the outside looks like. The beauty of God surrounds them, but they cannot see it because their eyes have not been opened yet—there are walls rather than windows.

So often we want to be like some one else. I do at least. I see someone do something well and I think, “I would like to do that”. Or they look really cute—I’d like to look like that. Perhaps they live in a great place and you think, “I’d like to live there”. They may have a great family or great kids and you think, “I’d like to have my family like that”. At times, we may want to be someone else, or live someone else’s life. I sometimes forget that it is not about the mirror, it is about what the mirror reflects. I have been placed by the Designer, not to be someone else, be or somewhere else, but to fulfill His purpose for my life right here. Not to have more, not to get more, but to reflect more. My job is to keep my mirror clean and held in such a way that it is reflecting and imaging the Designer’s purpose—not the outside, but another world.

It is a world that is almost upside-down to where we live; it’s another kingdom. It is as if the world got made right and thrown upside-down by sin. We have become so accustomed to this upside-down that we think it is right side up. It is not. When the Olympics came to Atlanta in 1996, the Moody Science department came to do evangelism around the city. Before they went to the streets of Atlanta, they came to Grace and shared their presentation. It was fascinating. One part of the presentation was that they had discovered that babies are born seeing upside down, and that for the first week of life, babies actually see in reverse. Then something flips, and they see right side up. Moody Science Department had made some glasses, more like goggles or a face mask, that you could slip on and see in reverse like the babies do. They demonstrated by placing them on someone in the congregation and having them do simple activities like trying to eat, catch a ball—it was quite amusing seeing someone living in reverse motion, so to speak. They would reach down to catch a ball or reach up to spoon in their food—just opposite of where the object was really located. I think after the fall of man into sin, we have had the goggles on—we live upside-down.

We think the way to the top is to push others down; in the real world, the way up is down.

We think to be a leader you command attention; in the real world, you serve to lead.

We think the way to get more is to keep every thing; in the real world, you give it away.

We think the poor are always poor; in the real world, the poor may be rich.

We think the rich are always rich; in the real world is that the rich maybe poor.

We think that riches make you happy; the real world, riches are not found in money.

We think that beauty is on the outside; in the real world, beauty is first on the inside.

We live upside down! It’s not funny, entertaining, or amusing. It is heartbreaking to watch people think divorce is an easy answer; to think that leaving your kids makes sense; to kill babies is a choice, and so many more. That is upside down thinking! It is not reflecting the right image; it is distortion. It is believing the lies of Satan. Take the goggles off, clean the mirror, and reflect the God image you were meant to show. You were not placed here to do whatever you want—that is not your right or your job—you are not your own, you were bought with a price. It was not cheap, and it was not easy: it cost the life of the Son of God—not a derelict on the street, but rather the perfect, spotless, sinless Son of God.

Like me, the Designer bought the mirrors, placed the mirrors, and had a purpose for the mirrors. God, the Designer, has a place and a purpose for you. If I had hung all the mirrors in one place, I would not get the range of view I wanted. I had to place them at just the right place at just the right angle. You are where you are - be it in a family, a neighborhood, a church, a job, or a school - because you were uniquely placed by the Designer to reflect the other world, to reveal God in this windowless world, walled in by sin. The amazing opportunity we have, is that no matter where we are, no matter how obscurely placed we feel, we can reflect God. You may not be in a grand foyer for all to see; the Designer is the Designer. You may wish you were hung here or there, but the Designer is the Designer. He does know the plans well, He is familiar with the property, He knows just where all the windows and doors are needed—that’s why you are where you are—on purpose. You are not random, you are not leftover or even the cheaper version: He loves you. Each of us has our own angle or view, our own beauty in which to reflect God. The unseen becomes seen through us!

In 1 Corinthians 15:38-41 says “But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish…there is the glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory”. The stars are placed where He put them “for star differs from star”. We are all stars just placed where we can reflect God as He sees. Our differences are on purpose. Don’t try to be someone else—celebrate who YOU are, where YOU are—God’s reflection. As beautiful as the stars, each brilliantly placed, as radiantly proclaiming the skill of it Maker, as delightful to gaze upon, as mysteriously deep into the universe, so too God has made you. May we reflect Him in a dazzling way…

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