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Not Mixed Veggies! (09.23.05--Grace Walks!--Isaiah 4:2-4)

As we recently joined a local CSA, a farmer’s cooperative whereby we receive our vegetables on a regular basis from a local farm, our refrigerator has been pretty consistently stuffed with vegetables of all sorts. From squashes to tomatoes, we’ve got them fresh and organically grown.

Prior to joining the co-op, I was what you might call a vegetable neophyte. When you needed a vegetable you either opened a can or a bag of the sort you desired, heated it up and served it. Actually preparing vegetables in a creative way by combining them in a complimentary dish was a rarity. Now, with all those fresh, unprocessed veggies just waiting to be prepared, staring me in the face every time I open the fridge, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to try them all, together and blended. That’s the way to go when you are craving all the flavors and aren’t just satisfied with one.

When it comes our walk with God, however, blending in the ingredients isn’t really the way to get the desired flavor. The Scottish preacher John McNeill liked to tell about an eagle that had been captured when it was quite young. The farmer who snared the bird put a restraint on it so it couldn’t fly, and then he turned it loose to roam in the barnyard. It wasn’t long till the eagle began to act like the chickens, scratching and pecking at the ground. This bird that once soared high in the heavens seemed satisfied to live the barnyard life of the lowly hen. One day the farmer was visited by a shepherd who came down from the mountains where the eagles lived. Seeing the eagle, the shepherd said to the farmer, “What a shame to keep that bird hobbled here in your barnyard! Why don’t you let it go?” The farmer agreed, so they cut off the restraint. But the eagle continued to wander around, scratching and pecking as before. The shepherd picked it up and set it on a high stone wall. For the first time in months, the eagle saw the grand expanse of blue sky and the glowing sun. Then it spread its wings and with a leap soared off into a tremendous spiral flight, up and up and up. At last it was acting like an eagle again. (John Mcneill.)

God tells us in His Word that we are the “fruit” of the land, holy and set apart (Isaiah 4:2). In as much as we are distinctly “flavored” in His sight, He has ordained it that we not blend “who we are” with “who we are not.” We are not of this world. Therefore, we are to remain unblended with the thoughts and cares of those who do not love God. The “flavor” of a Christian is unique and can’t be improved by blending. That is not the way God designed us. Blending in with the world around us may be convenient, but it is an aroma unpleasant to God. We are not mixed vegetables.

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