“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 (ESV)
I love the Desert Island Discs game. The premise goes like this: if you’re going to be stranded on a desert island and can take 20 albums with you, what discs would you choose? The game is truly ridiculous because, unless your CD player is solar powered, you are going to need to haul an awful lot of batteries with you.
But it is a fun game all the same because it makes you think. Now, for me, I would have to bend the rules a bit. For one, I would make mix discs, so I can fill the CDs with the music I love and not deal with skipping past filler songs. (Ever feel ripped off by a $15 album that had only one or two good songs on it?)
Not only that, but I would burn my CDs in MP3 format so I can fit a ton more music on my 20 discs that I will play on my solar powered portable CD player with MP3 decoder while lying on a deserted beach, eating fresh caught sea bass and sucking down coconut milk.
One of the songs I would include would be a long time favorite of mine: Supertramp’s “The Logical Song”. (Relax, Christian friends. I would have plenty of Rich Mullins, Sara Groves, Bebo Norman, praise and gospel music as well.). If you remember this song, you are probably aging yourself. It was a hit back in 1979.
The lyrics deal with conformity: how we start out pure enough, only to have certain expectations and norms forced upon us. We are expected to fit certain labels and march in lockstep, or face being labelled as an outsider. And often we accept certain conformities to the detriment of our created purpose in life, of our selves.
Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. We live in a society, and societies must have rules, or else chaos will prevail. But, as Paul wrote, we are not called to conform to the ways of this world. We aren’t called to be drawn to the temptations and distractions this world has to offer. We are not meant to follow the life of worldly riches and greed.
We are called to a life of transformation. We are all created by God as individuals, meant to serve as unique parts in the larger body of Christ – not merely the local congregation but the church universal. We are called to love without judgment, to forgive without reservation, to help without question.
The expectation of those of us who follow Christ is not a station in life or fiscal status or popularity contest. We are called to follow Christ’s lead with our whole hearts, not conform to some professional status. Follow the Holy Spirit, your inner guide. The thing is, I believe that if each of us would simply still ourselves long enough to hear His voice in the quiet, the confusion of what to do or say would melt away, replaced with certainty of purpose.
So, go ahead. Thumb your nose at conformity. Who cares what the labelers think or say? Refuse to follow anyone but Jesus Christ. Speak up for Love and Peace. Be who your Creator made you to be, not what the world wants to mold you into. If that means you’re viewed as a “weirdo” for the sake of Christ, so be it.
Be a weirdo.
In the end, whose thoughts matter? Who will have the final word?
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world– the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions–is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)