Today I was helping at my daughters school and a boy in her grade was sitting beside me. Out of the blue he asked "Did you live an igloo when you lived in Canada?" For more than what was morally correct I considered telling him yes, yes I did it was cold but we never needed a refrigerator" but I did not. Instead I told him the truth, that we lived in a house just like here. He was disappointed. Right after a girl asked me if I lived in the mountains, I said no the mountains are far from where I live in Canada, dejected she looked down. Another boy with a quizzical look asked, "where in the USA is Canada?" I proudly said we are our own country. Well at least that was a cool answer (even if his look said He thought I was telling a lie).
The truth, when compared to their thoughts failed to impress my audience of 8 year olds. I do so wish I told them I lived in an igloo in the mountains right smack dab in the middle of the United States. I wish I had mentioned that the average Canadian consumes the equivalent of 10 seals per year in seal meat. I wish I has said I missed my sled dogs and that our major export was ice cubes, the kind they use at fancy restaurants. I wish I was missing a finger and could tell them it fell off one day at recess but I just kept going cause really Canadians only need 4. All of these things would have made me cool or at least interesting. They had this wonderful idea of Canada based on a few novel ideas about cold climates. I could have entertained them but what if they ever visited my Home and Native Land? My fraud would have been exposed and Canada as it really is would never match how cool it was in their minds. I lost some of my cool factor today, but I represented the truth well.
Today I represented Canada, but in the bigger picture I hope I honestly represent the life of Christian truthfully. It would be tempting to tell everyone that being a Christian makes all of life's difficulties go away. It would be tempting to go around always smiling and knowing the answers. It would be tempting to claim I never experience loss or sadness, believe me that would me awesome. But I cannot.. that would be misrepresenting my experience of life as a Christian It is not easy, it is not all smiles and lollipops. I do get confused about decisions and I often lack confidence in what lies a head. My point is, that I sincerely desire for you to know Jesus but you need to know he is not a magic fix. I do not want to mislead you into thinking life as a Christian is something found in a fairy tale.
Life is hard, that is the truth but no matter what life brings, I always take security in the knowledge that I am loved. This my dear friends is one truth I boldly claim, because I know when you meet Him, or reflect upon your meeting with Him, my telling of the this truth will pale in comparison to your experience. I am painfully aware that boldly representing life with Christ takes my cool level down a few notches, it is not one of the more popular things to claim. Claiming this invites criticism and snide remarks, I know all to well. But I want to show my faith as genuine and real, not contrived and one dimensional. My goal is to allow people to see both my difficulties and the joy in my heart from God. So I will continue to shine, and boldly tell people, You are loved, no matter how uncool that might be!
Shine on My friends