March always takes me back in time and makes me laugh at the memory. I was a seventh grader and in my minds eye I can still see the old gym that separated the boys from the girls a place we gathered before school started and after lunch. If you were brave enough you could take your shoes off and dance to the fifties music in your socks on the gym floor. (Sock Hop).
My seventh grade friends and I were not that brave, so eighth grade girls seem to take the floor for the most part. Many of us just enjoyed watching the boys do hilarious things like making obnoxious noises with their hands in their arm pits.
One day in March my good friend Darlene and I went to the five and dime store, which had a great display of St Patrick’s Day items and there we hatched what we thought was a brilliant plan. For the next few weeks we watched the boys across the gym and our little hearts thrilled as we talked about our plan. We had bought ourselves shiny green hats, a couple of ties to wear around our necks, and sparkly party horns to blow on our arrival into the gym. We had our heads together for several days leading up to this grand holiday, dreaming of the attention that we would receive with our gaudy get-up. We giggled when we thought perhaps we would capture the heart of one of the boys on the other side of the gym, which had only recently became something other than yucky! We planned just when to come in, how to blow our party horns and just the right place as to be seen but the one thing we didn’t do was check the calendar. You guessed it! March 17th fell on a Saturday that year. Suddenly our shiny hats had lost their beauty, no neck ties would be worn and the silver and green party horns seemed to mock us with their obnoxious sound. There we were, once again just plain ole us, no glitter or gaud and in our minds, no chance to catch the attention of the elusive males. Again I was that awkward seventh grader who towered over most guys, no green hat would cover my unruly brown hair and my teeth would still seem too big for my face. My self image plummeted!
I revisited this time in my life as I thought of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, in the book of Daniel. Ole Neb decided to build a grand statue, of what it portrayed the bible doesn’t say, but it was an image that stood 90 feet tall and 90 feet wide and was made of gold. At it’s completion he called together the important people of his time, he wanted them to see his brilliance at building such a magnificent structure. On top of that he said that every time the band played people were to bow to it. Can you imagine the ego boost the self absorbed king got when everybody who was anybody bowed to his gaudy statue?
One of the studies I read suggested that when we try to be something we are not, or try to give the impression that we are better than we really are, we are image building. Am I always myself or do I put on my green top hat to impress certain people whom I might deem important? Am I real? Interestingly, one author actually brought up that if we have gained a reputation of being “real”, make sure we don’t become fake at being real. This struck home for me because I want to be real, I want to be authentic and I want to believable. Romans gives a model to follow, an image of which to conform. It says God has always known me and has sent Jesus as an example of an image that we might copy.
Praise God, I don’t have to wear a gaudy green hat or build a gold statue of myself but I can be conformed to the image of God’s son and be considered one of many brothers and sisters. Could I ask for anything more?
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29 NIV)
I love the Amplified Version that says: “…into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness].” (Roman 8:29b AMP)
If inwardly, we are like Christ, then outwardly we need not be anything else.
Yeah! Green was never my color!