Friday, August 21, 2009

Living in a Wal-Mart world

This morning at seven I got off work and raced over to Wal-Mart to get a few things before the kids went to school.
Right after you walk into the store there is a bench next to the McDonald's entrance.
On that bench this morning there was an elderly man sitting alone.
I smiled at him and said, "Aren't you in the wrong place?"

He smiled back and said, "I'm just waiting on my wife."

Normally, I wouldn't ask a stranger a question like that, but this man was wearing a hat and shirt that said Super Saver on them.
Super Saver is a big local grocery store chain in Nebraska.
Not an everything you need under one roof kind of store such as Wal-Mart, but still competes to win our business for groceries.

So as I was rushing through the store and even on my drive home I kept thinking about that man and how out of place he looked. In his yellow shirt and hat with Super Saver embroidered on them, he was surrounded by employees donned in the blue vests with the white letters across the chest that read Wal-Mart.

He was out of place.
He didn't fit in.
He was noticed.
He stood out.
He was different.
He didn't blend in.
He caught one's attention.
He was on foreign ground.

The thought God gave me before I even got past the smell of Egg McMuffins is that
this is how it is for a Christian.

In 1 Peter 1:11(NIV) says that we are: aliens and strangers in the world...

And I love how the Message Bible reads:
Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it.

When we accept the gift of salvation from Jesus Christ and invite Him into our life then we become a foreigner.
We are instantly different.
We become aliens.

Does your love for Jesus make you stand out?
Are you an alien?
Does the faith you have in Jesus Christ make you look like you're wearing a
Super Saver uniform in a Wal-Mart world?

When Jesus invades us we are not the same.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

It's much easier to laugh along with everyone else at raw jokes your co-worker makes in the break room or just ignore the inappropriate e-mail you were sent instead of asking the sender to not forward you stuff like that.
It's easier to keep quiet on your beliefs instead of voicing what you believe during a discussion with a friend.
Blending in is much easier than standing out by choice.
Conforming to the world is the easy way out, but in Romans 12:2 we are told
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed...

My parents do foster care and last Easter my Mom bought all of the girls the same white dress with purple flowers.
She has done this before because it is much easier for her to buy the same thing instead of finding each girl a different outfit.
I'm sure this is what the Mom's of multiples do too.

But each child of Jesus is not the same.
He doesn't dress us alike so we all look and act the same.
We all have different talents and pasts that He wants to use for His glory.
We may never know whose life will be changed when we allow Jesus to be known through us.

So today my dear friends, let's try to stand out for Christ.
I don't mean for you to go grab your Bible and start screaming hell burning messages on the street corner. That kind of distraction only brings attention to oneself anyway.
I'm talking about being aware of the small opportunities He puts in your every day to show the world Jesus.

If we are willing, He will use us.
And just like the Super Saver employee in a sea of Wal-Mart employees,
because of our Savior we will stand out and be different.

Have a wonderful weekend.

~Many Blessings~


Runner Mom said...

I love this!! It's hard to follow that scripture 2 Cor. 5:17! I had someone who professes to be a Christian add onto my Blog follower thingie today. I clicked on her blog just to see who she was. Blogger had a warning about some of the material on her blog being inappropriate. I went on and read...bless her heart. She professes one thing, but her content is of this world...not of our eternal home. I deleted that part of my blog today. I would not want to encourage someone to go to that site simply because she linked up on my blog.

Thanks for this wonderful reminder!
Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Thumbs up for another wonderful and thought provoking post :)

Shanda said...

My kids just went back to school. It always amazes me how they want to both "fit in" and yet "stand out." Although those days were long ago for me I think I still struggle with the same thing. We want to stand out for Christ; and yet maybe not so much that we are looked at as an "alien" but as unique, cool, and special. But I don't think it will be long before those who are living for Christ will look a bit more like the "alien" in this world. Praise Him that this is not our home!

Anonymous said...

Truly beautiful post. Thanks for sharing!

Danielle said...

What a great message, Lelia.

How true this statement is... If we are willing, He will use us. It's up to us whether we are used of God. *sigh* I know from my own past experiences that I've been unwilling before. PTL for His forgiveness.

Joyfulsister said...

Amen Sistah Lelia, Wonderful wonderful post indeed. I like the message version of that scripture too. Don't get too cozy or comfortable lol. We just passing through and how do we stand out in the meantime!!! Very good pondering post.

Hugz Lorie

Kim said...

beautiful thoughts for the day!

Linda said...

An every day stand out! Great goal and great words.

Heather said...

Great post Lelia! Thanks for sharing! I will be reminded every time i go to Wal-Mart (for one!)

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Beautiful, Leila. I'm going to try to come back here more often. Life is crazy.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

You are SO right Lelia! We Christians are to be salt and light to the world. If the world can not tell us apart from non-Christians, then how can they see that a life with Christ is any better than what they already have? This was a super post today! Mississippi

Paula said...

Thank you Lelia. Working in an office of mostly non-Christians, this post is a comforting reminder that me standing out as a Christian is what God wants for me. You are a blessing. :) xo

Mariel said...

great analogy! love your blog and your thoughts. like the man in wal-mart, we too are waiting for our husband..our heavenly bridegroom! i love exodus 33 where moses begs for God to go with them, otherwise what else would distinguish them from all other people on earth? thank you for the reminder to make His presence obvious to those around us!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post! What a neat story to remind us it is wonderful to stand out and be different!!

Wendy Blight said...

So thankful I stopped by today to be blessed by your beautiful post.

I stopped by to thank you for all the wisdom, encouragement, and love you showed me a few months ago when I began my on-line study. God used you in such a powerful way to give me courage and confidence to step out in faith and do this. I did not feel alone. You faithfully checked on me and encouraged me.

There is only one week remaining, and I am so sad. I have loved the time God has given me with these women. He has answered my prayers in bigger and better ways than I ever could have imagined....honoring His Word.

Thank you, Leila. You are truly a blessing!


Deb said...

We are in.

But not of.

The world.

Big difference!

Thanks for the gentle nudging.

Sweet dreams.

HisPrincess said...

This is the kind of post that makes me feel uncomfortable, because standing out for my faith isn't something I do well.

I am improving, but have such a long long way to go.

Thanks Lelia.

Catie said...

What a great post. Thank you for sharing!

Letters From Midlife said...

I needed to hear this. I'm trying to be more aware of God's voice in everyday situations like this. You listen to Him so well. I probably would have said hello to the man but then not given anything else another thought because I often am too wrapped up in my own distractions of the day. Thank you for reminding me to pay attention and listen for His voice.

Liz said...

Love you and praying that we really do stand out!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Another great one. Often I think I don't stand out well enough for Christ but I hope that maybe it's just my lower self-esteem that hides my witness.

I had to chuckle when you said you weren't referring to grabbing our Bibles and Bible-thumping. :-)

I can only pray that God will make me more aware and help me to wear my yellow Super Saver shirt.

Very thought-provoking.