Mold-A-Rama machine at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Photo by Ayleen Gaspar. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spookyamd/6229954232/
I love Como Park in St. Paul MN. It has a wonderful, free zoo. They have a lion, a tiger, some bears (oh my).
And lots of primates.
Go to the primate building. Bring the kids. Bring something to cover the kidlets’ eyes (the tamarins can be a bit naughty).
And bring some quarters for the Mold-A-Rama machine.
For the price of a handful of spare change, you can watch the Mold-A-Rama mchine melt a wad of poly and mold it into your favorite wild critter (from the limited options available). You know the finished product is a Mold-A-Rama toy not only because you watched the machine make it, but because of their appearance.
They all look the same.
All the lions look the same.
All the tigers look the same.
All the bears? The same.
This is because they are all formed from the same molds. Same basic colors. Same lastic material.
Sadly, we tend to look at other people as if we’re injection molded. It’s as if all humans of a certain race are made from the same mold. All religions, their own mold. All political affiliations? Yup – same mold. All telemarketers… well, okay, all telemarketers are spit from the same mold.
I find it interesting that, the more society moves toward embracing / enforcing individuality, the more cookie-cutter stereotypes pop up. (By the way, I was identifying as a billionaire for a while. However, my banker assured me I had mislabeled myself.)
God created each of us individually. He does not have a Human Mold-A-Rama where all Caucasians look the same, all Democrats look the same, all Christians look the same…
That’s right. Not all Christians look the same. We don’t all act exactly the same, or think everything the same. We were each created different – unique – by a supremely amazing God, Creator of all. Some of us are “conservative” in thought, some “liberal”. Some of us are moderate in our thinking.
Some of us are thin. Some of us less so. (I prefer to consider myself “substantial”.)
Some of us are professions. Some of us artists, others artisans.
We are rich. We are poor. We are middle class.
We are all these labels. And yet, should we accept any of these labels?
Christ followers are held together in community not by being Stepford Believers, but a shared love of the Lord. A common belief in Jesus as our Savior. A desire to grow together in our relationships with God.
Despite our differences.
Through our differences.
Sharpened by recognizing, appreciating, and discovering our differences.
Christ followers share much in common. But it doesn’t make us all the same.
As a Christ follower, I am firmly Calminian (there are aspects of Calvinism I agree with, and the same with Arminianism). I seek Jesus, not a dogmatic teaching.
You see, the one thing I am not is a stereotypical Mold-A-Rama “Christian”. What I mean is, people do not look at me and say, “He’s your typical, run-of-the-mill church-on-Sunday Christian.”
That’s just not me.
And I’m fine with that.
I am who God created me to be. Not a photocopy of a Christian. Not a Mold-A-Rama person. I am a unique, individual. I avoid labels. I reject “isms”. I am me.
I am who God created me to be.
So are you.
No, you’re not me. You’re who God created you to be. The wonderful, gifted person the Lord designed and formed individually in your mother’s womb.
If you don’t conform to someone else’s mold, so be it. All the better! Life isn’t about faking it ’til you make it. It’s about seeking God, loving others and using all the talents the Lord gave you to serve Him and others.
And that means you gotta be you. Not who someone else says you should be, but truly yourself. That’s being true to yourself.
It’s no good trying to be someone else. You have to be you.
The real you.
And I’m serious about shielding your child’s eyes. Nasty little tamarins…