No Bellybutton?

Story of the Day for Tuesday July 5, 2011

No Bellybutton?

 

                 Don’t conform to this age, but be transformed in the renewal of your mindset. 

                                 Romans 12:2

 

What if you didn’t have a bellybutton? You’d feel pretty stupid, right? It’s not as if our navel serves any vital purpose, but we still want one so we will be like everyone else.

Yeah, yeah – I realize some of you still insist you’re nonconformists, and don’t care if you have a bellybutton – or what anyone thinks about it.

Okay, then, let’s imagine you have three eyes: one in the middle of your forehead, and one over each ear. This, now, increases your peripheral vision. Yet, even with your physical advantage over others, you would still rather have two eyes . . . simply because everyone else does.

The fact is, we all have a deep desire to fit in with others. This desire to conform is not a sin – far from it, it’s the way God has wired us.  We are created to live in community. We need to conform to certain values and behaviors in order to exist as a society.

 

All that said, conformity sometimes gets us into trouble.  It’s one thing to want a bellybutton or to wear clothes like other people wear. But, many times we do harmful things simply because “everyone else is doing it.”

 

Three years ago, our family drove to the Midwest. We hit road construction in western North Dakota. Two construction crew trucks with flashing yellow lights, occupied both lanes, and slowly led us down the freeway.

Some drivers, however, kept weaving from one lane to the other to pass. They would find the smallest opening and squeeze ahead of the car in front of them – even though everyone had to follow the construction vehicles.

When we came to the town of Ray, the construction ended and the two pace trucks pulled off into a parking lot. Surprisingly, the cars that had spent the last half hour weaving to the front followed the pace trucks. They followed each other, and filled the parking lot so no one could move. Now, apparently, they would have to wait until the mile-long line of cars passed before they could even back up.

We shouldn’t find pleasure at the misfortune of others. But as I sped down the freeway east of Ray, I laughed so hard I could hardly see to drive.

 

When we’re immersed in a culture, it’s extremely difficult to recognize how our behavior mimics those around us – just as a fish may have a difficult time recognizing that it’s wet.

The Lord doesn’t want us to conform to behavior that doesn’t lead us closer to him. Instead, he tells us to be transformed by his way of seeing life.

To refuse to conform to a non-Christian culture, and to be transformed by God’s ways is fairly easy to explain. But it takes a lifetime to learn.

                                                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)