Last week the leaves on my Burning Bush turned from an ordinary green to an extraordinary red.
But here is an amazing fact: the leaves were actually red all summer long.
I didn’t see the red color until a week ago, but it was there. The brilliant red was hidden beneath the green.
During the growing season, a leaf produces chlorophyll which makes it appear green. As the days grow shorter, chlorophyll production slows and the leaf’s true colors appear.
In a way, the leaf has to die to be more beautiful.
This is also true in my spiritual life. In Matthew 16:25 Jesus says:
Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. (The Message)
This is one of those great puzzles of God’s kingdom. I think my ordinary self is my real self and so I carefully protect my desires, my needs, my interests. In a way, I desperately work to stay “green.”
But Jesus tells me, “Let all of that go. Let your ordinary self fade and your extraordinary self will appear.” When I let my “green” desires go, my beautiful “red” self will emerge. When I realize that all that I’m so carefully holding onto is actually holding me back, my true self begins to unfold.
Today I was reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. This is what he has to say on the subject.
“We take as starting point our ordinary self with its various desires and interests…We are hoping all the time that…the poor natural self will still have some chance, and some time, to get on with its own life and do what it likes…
Christ says, ‘Give me All…Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked–the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead.”
It’s amazing to realize that our extraordinary self is hiding beneath our ordinary lives.
Let’s learn to let it all go.
God wants to give us so much more.
Next Step: Spend a few minutes with God today. Ask Him what you need to hand over to Him. Receive the new self.