I have a teenage daughter.
Moment of silence for me, please.
My daughter, Reese is beautiful, musically gifted and athletically talented. She’s wicked smart and has just enough sass to garner my appreciation when she probably should be popped.
She’s also overly pre-occupied with what people think of her and desperately tries to avoid the perception that anything is out of control or out of order. Everything is “so embarrassing.” Her brother and I take great pleasure in creating those embarrassing moments because her reaction is priceless.
Quintessential teenage girl, right?
I totally understand. She got it honest. My prayer is that, unlike me, she will figure out a truth that took me 40 years to learn. Average is Boring and Jesus Loves Misfits.
A fellow classmate invited Reese to a birthday party. Because invitations were not extended to the entire class she had to keep the matter hush-hush. As she recapped the party for me later, she shared that none of her friends made the cut. She then gave descriptions of the other partygoers. “He’s a little nerdy but really nice.” “She collects stamps and coins like old people.” “You met him, Mom. You said he reminded you of the Unabomber.”
I can barely contain myself, but I let her finish. She rattles off a few more kids and concludes with, “They’re a weird bunch but I had fun.”
Because I can be a little too eager to give people, to include my own kiddos, a reality check, I say, “And that’s why Andrew* invited you! He knew you’d fit in.” And then I fall out in uncontrollable laughter. As she repositions her eyeglasses on her face, she gives me that priceless reaction that her brother would have paid big money to see.
“Mom! What are you saying?”
The party was largely attended by the misfits of the seventh grade class. And the idea that she may be one of them had her completely undone.
In my attempt to talk her off the ledge, I say, “Sweets, Jesus was a misfit.” She doesn’t bite. Tee hee hee.
mis·fit ˈmisˌfit/ noun
noun: misfit; plural noun: misfits: a person whose behavior or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way.
Think about it. By today’s standard, Jesus was a misfit.
He talked in parables. That’s got to be there with talking about your self in the third person. Everyone knows at least one person like that and rarely do we like them.
Jesus jumped in the boat of someone he had not formally met, and then asked the man to push out. Imagine if a stranger jumped in the passenger seat of your car and said “Lets’ go to the mall”. What would you do first? Scream or pepper spray?
Jesus went ballistic in the temple, turning over tables and yelling that it was “His Father’s house.” Do any celebrity personalities come to mind?
Imagine what the adulteress woman must have been thinking when she was dragged out half naked to be stoned: “They’re about to kill me but first they want to consult the guy…the guy… drawing in the dirt? I’m about to die and He’s playing in the dirt!”
Jesus’ approach was unorthodox. He went against the grain and challenged tradition. He introduced us to God, the person and invited us to call Him Father. That was blasphemy during that time. Many loved Him, but many also hated Him. Namely the Pharisees. Why? Because He made them uncomfortable in a conspicuous way.
God wants us to be the same way. We are called to be salt and light in this world. To speak with boldness. He’s calls us a “peculiar” people.
So why are we trying to be like everyone else, dress like everyone else, vacation where everyone else vacations, etc.? Why?
Being like everyone else makes you the norm. Makes you average. Who wants to be average? If you earned a C on a test, you wouldn’t be happy. Or maybe you would, but generally speaking- no one wants a C if an A is there for the taking. Yet, everyday we absorb other people’s lifestyle habits, fashion tips and even career blueprints that scream C average.
Very few of us of are exercising the individuality that our fingerprints suggest we are. Like my teenager, we are fearful of being conspicuous. We’re fearful of calling out sin and addressing it in our spheres of influence. We equate being set apart as being isolated and abandoned, rather than loved and spiritually elevated in heavenly realms. We’re uncomfortable with people knowing that we believe in Jesus—not just a God—but Jesus. And don’t let them find out that you think you can actually talk to God. OMG!
We preach to ourselves: I’m child of the Most High. I have been fearfully and wonderfully made. I am made in my Father’s image. I am a royal priesthood. I’m the head, not the tail…blah, blah, blah. But then conform to this world’s system for fear of being seen as a Jesus-freak, a bible thumper, lunatic, or misfit.
Today can be a new start.
CALLING ALL MISFITS!
Calling all believers who are ready to live an unorthodox life; ready to shake up the traditional infrastructure of life.
And not just your “church life” or spiritual life but even your business/profession and in the classroom, etc. Jesus did most of His teachings and all of His miracles outside of the four walls of the temple.
He’s asking us to do the same. To be conspicuous – in the sharing of your faith, your testimony, how He changed your life. To be a person whose behavior or attitude sets them apart from others- by squashing gossip, doing your part to eliminate homelessness, hunger, abuse…whatever. To share the love of Jesus in both word and deed. To be a misfit in broad daylight.
Are you in? Let’s do this!
YOUR TURN! How can you to be conspicuous today?
* Not his real name. I’m not cruel.
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