You are what you do.
Integrity, honesty, gratitude. That can only be said of you what you continually practice. Do we mistake the want for an ideal as the reality? That’s dishonest yet incredibly common. In 2017, we are without question a society so enamored with appearance and message that we spend more time presenting the image we wish to be believed about us than we do actually cultivating that picture within and without us.
Gardening is long, hard and tedious: buying veggies at the local grocery store is quick, common and relatively painless.
As I reflected over two years ago on founding Rhythms and what that was going to mean, this concept continually stood out front and center in my mind: I wanted to forge a community where you could tell what it stood for by what it repeatedly did. Because isn’t that honestly the only way to tell what someone or some organization stands for?
It’s the difference between crafting an image and forging an identity.
And if you remember, crafting an image made it’s way into the 10 commandments. A solid spot at number 3. The problem with graven or crafted images is that they are always false. In the Scriptures, God dealt harshly with those who even crafted images meant to represent him. Why? Because God wants us to give and to receive all things (and people) as they are. Jesus describes himself as “the truth”; he is neither false nor misleading. And perhaps the greatest way in which we can seek to imitate Christ is to be what we are; rage against the impulse to break that 3rd commandment. Fig leaf or fancy filter, from the beginning of time we’ve been hiding; casting graven images of gold, silver and instagram.
But the opportunity here is huge. You could start the long process of deciding who you want to be and start doing that. Repeatedly, over and over again, until it becomes who you are. The only thing you’ve got to lose is the image you’ve put forth. And that wasn’t even real to begin with.
Sure, you’ll fail. And so will we. But greatness always does. Things worth having don’t come easy or without setback.
But it’s always worth it.