Thursday, March 10, 2016

Please Stop Pecking Yourself

Living Lesson: Please Stop Pecking Yourself
By: Christopher Wiles
     On Wednesday evening I arrived at the Wiles residence at 10:30pm after late night hospital and home visits.  Although I was tired and my family was already asleep, I went through my usual nightly wind down rituals, which includes emptying all my pockets on the kitchen table and feeding our eight new baby chicks. This night, the contents of my pockets included something out of the ordinary: a high powered green laser pointer that is used for presentations at church.  A laser pointer and chickens were both sitting before me; you smarties out there can probably guess where this is going.

     After 5 minutes of watching chicks run in circles pecking the bedding as they chase this wayward green dot, I got the bright idea of putting the dot on the side of a chick.  This chick wasn’t about to ignore the wing I was highlighting and it began furiously pecking itself trying to removed the intangible object it thought was on its wing.  Realizing the potential harm this animal could do to itself as a flurry of beaks, wings, and feathers flew about,  I put the laser pointer away and ruminated on what I witnessed.

     We are not all that different from this chick.  How many times has our culture highlighted a harmless, natural, and normal part of us driving us to “peck” at ourselves inflicting self harm?   The world says it doesn’t like your size, your hair color, your body shape, and your skin tones, so we die our gray hair with harsh chemicals, change our skin tones with harsh tanning beds, and develop destructive eating disorders.  So many of these activities have been proven to be harmful to men and women’s health, yet we continue to peck away at our natural selves with these activities year after year, rather than being content with what God created us to be.  Even I struggle at times with the pasty white skin leading to farmer’s tan lines before going to the beach, the thought of dying my hair as I find more gray encroaching, or finding unnatural ways to improve my physique before we going on vacations. 

     We could all find perfectly normal areas of our lives to peck away at as we try to appease the culture gods of modern media, but like these chicks, we would do more harm than good in removing what is unique to us.  I want to encourage you today to remember that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).  Remember that God doesn’t look at the outward appearance of a person but "the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).  Remind yourself that you don’t need to change your appearance to be a “new you” but follow Christ, “for if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold,  the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)