Sunday, June 8, 2008

Spray on faith.

Spray on faith.

There is a new housing development near our neighborhood. They have about one hundred houses and people are starting to move in on a fairly regular basis. The other day while we were driving by it, my wife pointed out something interesting.

Instead of buying new pine straw for the landscaping that rings the property, the development decided to paint it. Instead of doing something new and true, they simply gave the old, sun worn pine straw a darker shade of paint.

I've never seen that before and maybe it's better for the environment. Maybe, instead of using real pine straw, painting it is a clever way to recycle it without wasting anything. I'm not a yard guy so I am admittedly not a pine straw expert. But something about doing that reminded me of faith.

I think that at times in my life, I have been guilty of spraying my heart with "holy spray." Instead of doing something new and true, like laying fresh pine straw down, I instead just do things that look holy on the outside. I spray myself with big, long prayers or visible acts of kindness that are done in front of other people so that they will think I am a good Christian. I put on a great show, but underneath my actions is old pine straw that is getting worn out despite the new layer of paint.

Worse yet, I think people that aren't Christians can tell when we do this. Much like my wife pointing out the colored pine straw, they can see that all we have done is change our surface. They see that we are faking it and much like DC Talk once said, the hypocrisy of it all chases people away from the Lord.

I don't have a solution for this, as I've just noticed it, but I do have a prayer. I pray that this week, at work, at home, in what I write, in what I do, I will lay down the new and true, instead of just putting a coat of paint on my life.

10 comments:

Donna said...

same here.....

Charity said...

This spoke to me...I know I can paint myself with the "holy spray" as well. Thanks for the post, it puts things in perspective.

CharityStill said...

Just wanted to let you know that I had no idea what pine straw was. I'm not sure that we have it in Indiana. I had to google it. Now I know.
As always, I enjoy your posts.

Ken & Carol said...

What would we do without Google? By the way, your profile listing of this website says "prodigaljohn" though typing that in got me here anyway.

Good stuff. Keep it up.

Frusciante Portman said...

I like your honesty. You continually get me with your honesty. Keep it up! And thank you for the reminder about the "holy spray" in my own life.

twinky said...

new to the site...heard you from the xxxchurch podcast...and i'm loving this...

just wondering how you have the time to do this, lol. Its great stuff

katdish said...

Yeah, I don't know what pine straw is either, but I'm too lazy to google it. Is it like mulch? I don't know, sometimes I do things without wanting to look holy, just trying to follow Jesus. Never really intending to talk about it, and then I blog about it. How do you write about striving for a life abiding in Jesus and not share your personal stories? I can only make fun of Rob Bell and Ann and Nancy Wilson so much, then I gotta write something with a little substance. Oh, here I am talking about me again!

I think if you're looking for it, God can use just about any situation as a parable or an object lesson. So, way to look for it, high five.

ash said...

wow. yea, I completely agree. I do that too I suppose. I think that smiling when you don't have to or singing with all you have on Sunday even though you would rather be getting out early so you can watch the football game is good for discipline. You could say that it is choosing to see positively. I totally get the point though when you say "Instead of doing something new and true, like laying fresh pine straw down, I instead just do things that look holy on the outside." I think it's something that God has to work out within us. We must take the time to want to bring Him something new, to rethink the way we do things, to disect the things we say and the way we look at situations.
Thanks for this... I'll be thinking about it.
--ash

Zombie said...

I couldn't agree more, i have been reading your blogs for a couple days, very good, keep it up.

Matt and Toni Rings said...

Found your website after doing a google search for "Pinestraw paint"...which we need to be better stewards to the Lord with our money. $180 for a fresh-up spray job, is better than $720 for all-new pine straw. (even though the old is still new, everyone wants it to "look" fresh)...

Keep up the faith.