50 Shades To Weigh

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.”  (Mt. 5:14)

Preface:

Do you enjoy your sense of vision?

Seriously.  Are you grateful for your ability to see, or is it so commonplace that this question seems absurd?

I got my first pair of glasses at age 10.  I could NOT believe the world I saw after stepping out of the optometrist’s office.  It literally changed my world.  What was so flat and faded all of sudden burst forth with color and detail.  It was the trees and all of their leaves that originally left me speechless.  Phoenix trees in a parking lot…that’s how bad my vision was, and that’s how much vision means to me!

“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you;
    let the birds tell you what’s going on.
Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics.
    Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories.
Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree
    that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand—
Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature?
Isn’t this all just common sense, as common as the sense of taste?”

~ Job 12:7-11

Aesthetically, this world is so beautiful, expressed through a richness of color.  From just three primaries, the complex variations we encounter are remarkable.

Who amongst us does not revel at the sight of a rainbow?  And double rainbows (one of the few things deeper than a hipster’s v-neck!)?!

Colors are so powerful that they evoke wonder, emotion, and they can even convey a message.

Presently, we are entering a very colorful time of year in AZ.  It’s a hiker’s dream.  It’s truly one of my favorite times.  Life is teeming!

And aside from starting with my birthday, February stands out in true hipster fashion.  Every once in all while it just does its own thing, and although being the shortest on our Gregorian calendar, it actually packs the biggest punch for the holiday schedule. (see below)

Valentine’s Day is a perfect example of color invading and shaping our reality.  What we see becomes what we feel.  For a month our world is painted in red, pink and white.

And although originating from a martyr’s love for his Savior, everyone comprehends this visual message of passion and love.

For Christ followers, red connotes a deeper message.  It symbolizes the gospel, that “Love Ran Red,” expressed by the brutal death Jesus suffered on a cross for all of humanity.

And Jesus’ words are red. (Hello, Red-Letter Christians)?!

The fact that God became a man and was brutally murdered without cause unveils a very black and white reality – sin kills!  But this past Valentine’s Day our world threw fifty shades of grey upon it again.  And these were darker.

Problem:

How is your vision?

Have you ever known anyone who is blind?  Or how about colorblind?

I mean that dress was white and gold, right?

My father is colorblind and this has led to some awkward scenarios and argumentative discussions.  But imagine if he was not aware of his colorblindness.  And what if he surrounded himself with colorblind individuals.  His inaccurate vision would be affirmed, and worse, those with accurate vision could have doubt cast upon theirs’.

And since colorblindness commonly disables individuals from distinguishing between red and green, I have a question…

Is the grass greener?

Of course, I’m still speaking in metaphor.

Green has become associated with a lack of experience and a political movement as of late.  But it also symbolizes the Irish, greed, and discontentment.  And unlike Christmas, “red” and “green” cannot co-mingle within our souls.

This is what I’ve found: If we are not grateful, we will not be content.

“…I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” ~ Philippians 4:11-13

Keep in mind that Paul had the audacity to pen these words while under Roman imprisonment.  And no, this imprisonment was not like today.  Paul couldn’t get his TV, video game, or gym flow on.

Practice:

Bring focus to your vision. 

To see requires focus.  Seeing colors only is not truly seeing.  Whether it’s the human eye or a camera lens, focus is what enables us to possess clarity of what we behold.

So, instead of focusing on what we do not have, let us focus upon what we do have.  We may not be where we want to be today, but because Jesus’ love ran red we’re not where we should be.

His red covers and frees us from our green that creates a world of grey.

No matter how bad our season, it can’t overshadow how good the cross is!  Don’t focus on the mountain but upon the mountain mover; our stories are not finished!

We have grace, mercy, love, faithfulness, peace, and acceptance that we DO NOT DESERVE!  And even though we abuse, ignore, and reject these, He still gives them to us just because He’s good!

My HOPE4Hipsters:

Have we blurred black and white lines creating countless shades of grey?  Are we seeing green, swimming in a sea of discontentment as we fixate on what we do not have?   Or, out of gratefulness for a God who meets us where we are at, will we be “seeing red again”?  Chevelle anyone?

I invite you to begin viewing life not from your lack but from His overflow, not from your inadequacy but from His sufficiency.

Start simple.  Pick just one area of your life and work on not seeing it in light of this day but in light of that Day when Jesus will right every wrong. (Rev. 22:17; 21:1-5)  The victory is making waves so dive in!

In a world green with greed and discontentment  greyed 50 times over, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.”  (Mt. 5:14)

*** Holidays in February: Groundhog’s Day, Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras, President’s Day, and of course Valentine’s Day

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