“It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.” -Tozer
I’m not really a paint your nails girl. I sometimes pretend that I am and I choose a colour from my collection of 4 nail polish bottles, all roughly the same tone, but in different brands and I think, “I can do this!” I curl up in comfies on the couch and set to the painting and I marvel at the change. How simply sliding that brush right over top of my nail creates a whole new thing. It’s prettier and sometimes sparklier and makes my hands look so different!
It never fails though. I paint my nails in the evening and it doesn’t seem to matter how long I wait before I fall asleep, when I rouse in the morning my nails are all bumpy and grooved from the texture of the blankets. The slight lines in the surface are testament to the fact that I didn’t wait long enough and I always wonder if this could be a look. Like stucco’d walls. Can I pull this off? (Seriously, I think this every. time)
It only takes a few seconds before I realize that the bed sheet look isn’t a look and I wonder why I even bother. I remember that I’m not really a paint your nails girl and yet twice a year I get suckered. Trying to be someone I’m not. Trying to change my exterior to prettier and sparklier.
Turns out when you try to cover up what you really are it is to no lasting effect.
I wonder why we’re never content with who we’re created to be. Why we look at someone else and see stars in our eyes and want to be like that. Why we think that who they are is better than what we are and so we slide the little brush dripping with paint over our lives and we marvel at how great we look with the change.
We pat ourselves on the back for how pretty and sparkly we are. We gaze in the mirror repeatedly and constantly display this new look, this new thing, this way we are and it feels pretty great.
But the truth of it is, if we’re not being who God created us to be, you, me, him, sister over there and there and there, then it can’t last.
It’s a cover-up. A fraud. A shiny coating over the truth of the matter which is that we are called to die to our self and live only in Him.
And it’s when we try to be something we’re not, try to be something we weren’t made for, that we wake up with lines all over ourselves, wrecked from the trying.
We can get the bottle out and apply another coat, of course. We can smooth it all out with a bit of effort and time. But it never lasts, sister. It never lasts.
It’s only when we strip off all that we think we want to be, all the flash that we think we need, all the “I want to be like her’s”, that we can truly let God show us who He’s called us to be.
Some of us need to start picking away at the layers of me. Let them simply chip and fall away. Others of us need to get out a cotton ball and the toxic smelling remover and scrub and scrub and scrub until we get to the bottom. The fresh and raw. The natural and simple.
It’s only when we rid ourselves of ourselves that God can take his position. It’s only when we give up the thoughts and ideals and who we think we are’s and this is what makes me me’s, that we can allow Him to be responsible for the shine.
And I know that the sparkle and shine of a life lived in Him is the most beautiful thing there is.
It’s more lovely than the polish and more amazing than the glitter and it’s longer lasting than anything we can doctor up and it doesn’t ever end up with blanket lines from slumber.