Thursday, September 11, 2008

Loving Diversity


Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Aaron recently taught this verse to our kids.

I have heard it many times before...but the other night...it just hit me.

Without excuse.

When we look at creation, we have no excuse for not understanding important things about the Lord.

Aaron and I are reading a book right now called, Crazy Love by Frances Chan.

In the very first chapter, the author talks about how diverse God is...how if we look at creation we see the creativity and genius of God.

He didn't just create a tree.

He made lots of trees.

And many kinds of trees.

Everything about creation screams diversity.

Which means, if I'm looking to creation to explain God's power and personality to me...I'm learning daily new things about the Lord.

Why did you make so many kinds of plants?

So many kinds of birds?

So many kinds of skin colors?

Why have you gone to such great lengths to display diversity through creation?

Why so much complexity...

And yet...patterns.

I know it's for His glory, because scripture says all of creation exists for God's glory...but scripture also says all those different trees, grass, temperatures, leaves, elevations, landscapes and soils are supposed to tell me a story of the power and nature of God.

He must like diversity.

Oh He makes blanket statements when He needs to ...

Like when He says there is NO OTHER WAY to get to the Father besides through Jesus.

He's "my way or the highway" when it comes to being THE WAY we get to heaven...

But if nature is testifying to His power and His character, then I think I've ignored the diverse nature of our God.

I think I've said, "There's only one way to raise kids."

"There's only one right way to educate them."

"There's only one right way to spend your time."

"We're the only ones who are doing church right."

Insane.

Complete insanity.

And so far from what I see on display through creation.

Yes, there are absolutes.

We know that from scripture, and we see it in creation.

There are some things that can be counted on...the length of time it takes our moon to revolve around our planet, the length of time it takes for Earth to revolve around the sun...the amount of time it takes for the moon to cycle through its phases...

absolute

has always been, will always be

But I think I live my entire life looking for THE way to do everything in my life, leaving no room for diversity, which means, if you are doing it differently, I'm right and you are wrong.

I spend my time looking at the way others are doing things and when I fall short, I think I'm second rate.

I've ignored that YES there are some things about God's nature that are "one way, my way or the highway" but there are also ways to live out this Christian life in a way that honors God, but may look very differently from how you are doing it.

Diversity

Freedom

Freedom to obey the Lord, and still look different from you.

Freedom for you to live in obedience to Him, without looking exactly like me.

Freedom to be different, and yet still be the same.

Allowing you to be an elm, and me to be a crepe myrtle...and yet remembering that we're still all lovely...His divine craftmanship...masterpieces, created to bring Him glory.

I'm asking God to reveal His power and His nature to me more and more through creation.

I want to be without excuse.

No more excuses for mentally condemning other churches for doing things differently than the way we do it.

No more excuses for mentally condemning other women for not being all I think they need to be.

No more excuses for mentally condemning myself for not being like her...or that lady...or that girl over there with the organized purse.

I want to not only be okay with diversity, but learn to appreciate it...stand in awe of it...just like I appreciate the blue jay and the hummingbird flying around outside my window right now.

I've always thought the cure for a critical heart was to focus on our similarities.

Maybe trying to find where we're the same, and ignoring our differences isn't the remedy.

Maybe being in awe of how diverse God has created us is.

2 comments:

Power Up Love said...

the greatest gift...

The Houstons said...

YES! So beautifully said Heather. I am learning that very lesson here in Germany. I can be critical of people who have never experienced what we did at Living Hope...critical of the chaplains...Just like you I try to just focus on our similarities...and struggle with comparing myself to other Godly women, how they seem to have it much more together than I do. Then I am reminded of what you said...FREEDOM. We are so very beyond blessed to have that freedom. Yes, there are absolutes, but most of the time I am critical of areas that we are given freedom in.
Ahhhhh, thank you Heather:) You said it better than I could have:)