When Cassidy was a little girl (a phrase I probably will use a lot over the next months) she loved it when daddy made the pancakes for breakfast. Why? Because I made it an event. I tried to make every pancake a cartoon character. We had Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck (never could do him very well, no one ever recognized him) and a few others. Not only did they have "character" but we had them in yellow, green, blue and any combination of the four colors you could imagine. You guessed it, the good ole food coloring. Don't think me so childish, I believe more people are guilty of abusive food coloring practices than would admit it. That's okay, we had fun. So much fun, we also ate red scrambled eggs and of course the famous "Green Eggs and Ham" from Dr. Suess. The coloring didn't do much for the ham. I always thought a man could get rich off food coloring that had a flavor to match the color; red-strawberry, green-lime, blue-coconut and yellow-lemon. Any business partners out there? Didn't think so. Oh well, I guess that's the whole idea; don't change the ingredients, just the appearance.
I can see it now. Advertisement in the local newspaper for Spiritual Stuff Bookstore, "New Christian Food Coloring: When you want to appear to be different- Without really changing anything." Isn't that what we all do at times as Christians. We really don't want to change the ingredients (things in our lives) to the extent that it really makes a difference. Hey, we like the recipe just like it is. We don't really need to make any drastic changes. We are good people, carry our Bibles to church, even dust them off before we go, we sing loud with our eyes closed and even raise our hands occasionally. An occasional amen and nodding to the sermon. We know what to say and what do to appear to be growing and changing when in reality, the ingredients are the same just the appearance changes. I know I am really good at that.
What if God were to say to the church, "throw the food coloring and recipe out" we are changing all the ingredients." Sometimes I think He may be saying just that. We don't like terms like radical, change, sold-out, Jesus freak, dangerous,costly and risky when it comes to the Christian life. Matthew West has a song, "I Don't Want To Go Through the Motions", in other words, I don't want to just have the appearance, I want to change the ingredients so that they make a difference. That should be all of our prayers: God change everything in us that needs to be changed so that WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE. No Christian Food Coloring allowed! Are you willing to change or do you just want to appear to change? Are you ready to be radical, sold-out, dangerous, risky or a Jesus Freak. Let's do it. Let's change the ingredients so it makes a difference. JOIN THE JOURNEY!