A transformation seeking to be worthy of the lions...
Okay, so I have a huge pet peeve. Have you ever driven by a house and noticed lion statutes at the end of the driveway? I always assume that when my eyes follow up the long driveway, I am going to see a picture perfect house. You know, the large three story, stone and marble home, with the manicured yard, and expensive cars. Perhaps even a small private pond with a statue fountain, and tennis court off in the distance. Well, I have learned to assume no more!
There is a house not too far from me. I happen to pass by it every now and then, when running errands. The very first time I drove by it, I noticed two large cement lion statues, greeting all who entered the driveway entrance. Immediately my heart grew with envy, that such a house was worthy of the statues. My eyes slowly traced their way up the driveway to see the glorious establishment that awaited me atop the hill. I gasped. I'm not talking a good gasp either. I'm talking about the kind where you see something you wish you hadn't! There atop the hill sat a white, scruffy house, with shutters falling off, paint chipping, and the screen door hanging by its last thread. In the driveway sat two beat up cars from the 1970's. The yard played host to dead trees, wilted flowers, and jumbo size weeds. How could this be? I shouted out loud. They are not worthy of the lions! This is not something just anyone can buy and place by the street front. They have to be earned. They represent status of wealth, hard work, and prestige! I continued on down the road, pondering why someone would misrepresent like that.
Over the course of that year, each time I drove by the house, I couldn't help but look and shake my head. However, I began to notice subtle changes. Hmm, they cleaned up their yard. Oh look, they took the shutters and screen door down. Wow, they repaved the driveway. But then I saw the ultimate changes begin to take place. They began to strip the sides away from the house and resurface it with beautiful stone. They added a magnificent porch with a beautiful new wooden door. The once knee tall grass transformed into a lush green lawn with new mulch, shrubs, trees and potted plants. A garage was built to house their new vehicles. The water from the newly installed pool glistened in the sun. The house that once represented a shack on a hill, now looked like something out of a Thomas Kinkade painting. As I drove by, I think I even heard the lions roar with pride. Then it dawned on me! They LONGED to be worthy of the statues. That was their starting point. Each day they left their house they were able to look at those statues and rejoice. They probably felt excited, filled with anticipation for the transformation to come. As I drove by and judged, based only on what I could see, they were inside celebrating for the small steps that had already taken place.
I had "statues" on display in my life before. I would say or do what people wanted me to, just to fool others into thinking I was where I needed to be spiritually. Truth be told, I was lazy. I had my facade out there and it worked for me. I didn't need to pick up my Bible and grow, or get involved in ministry to serve. My "statues" spoke my spiritual status for me. But if you looked beyond the statues, all you really saw was a person that was broken and in need of a huge transformation. Slowly over the course of time, I allowed God to peel chipped layers away from my life; friends, bad habits, selfishness, laziness, lack of compassion...He then resurfaced me with a sturdy and beautiful foundation. I had become so use to the appearance of my heart within, that I didn't realize how ugly it had truly become. It wasn't until I discovered that my brokenness was truly worthy of more, did I allow the spiritual makeover in my life. Sure, I still have required maintenance on a daily basis. But, my "statues" no longer represent false hope, but instead display a life that yells, "I AM worthy of the Lion"!
"The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing." Psalms 34:10 (NIV)