I resolved several years ago to continue my early morning exercise regime even during the holidays when I wouldn’t have to get up for work. I decided it was better to maintain my routine so I wouldn’t have to get back into the swing of exercising and experiencing the associated pain as well as just having to drag myself out of bed earlier in time for work. I’ve often rethought that resolution, but I’ve stuck with it fairly faithfully.
But, during the recent Christmas break, I felt like George Jetson, the father of the cartoon space age family of the 1960s and 70s who had all the gadgets we now look back at and say, “Whew! I’m glad I don’t have to do it that way anymore.” The show always ended with George coming home from work to walk the dog on a treadmill, only to be sucked in by the treadmill and screaming something like, “Jane (his wife), get me off this thing” as the dog watched from the side.
Anyway, I wanted to get off the treadmill. So, I did, without breaking my resolution. I just moved to another exercise machine to work a different set of muscles, also adding some variety into my regime (actually, I do that everyday anyway). Variety certainly is a spice of life. While that isn’t in the Bible, having been coined by William Cowpers, a 1700s English poet, it does present a Biblical principle demonstrated by God in creation and throughout history. Consider the diversity of plants, animals, and landscapes and the intricacy of how things work together within and between plants, animals, and the environment, which demonstrates God’s power (Genesis 1: 1-2: 3; Romans 1: 20).
While I agree that variety is a spice of life, it is not the spice of life. The complete quote by Cowpers is: “Variety is the spice of life that gives it all its flavor.” Flavor and aroma go hand in hand. The Bible describes Jesus as a fragrant offering to God Christians are to imitate (Ephesians 5: 1, 2). Not only is Jesus the spice of life, he’s the life and the only way of truth that leads to eternal life (John 14: 6; 10: 9, 10; Acts 4: 12). So, in matters of coming to God, there’s only one way – no variety – and the Bible is very specific about how that happens (Acts 2: 38, 39; Galatians 3: 26-4: 7); but, when it comes to serving God, there are many ways, although the limitation is that they must be pleasing to God as a fragrant aroma (1 Corinthians 12: 1-13: 13).
While Jesus is preparing our eternal home, he’s charged Christians with spreading his fragrance of life throughout the world through everyday living that imitates his God-pleasing life (John 14: 1-3; Matthew 5: 13; Ephesians 5: 3-10; 1 Peter 2: 11, 12; 3: 15, 16; 2 Corinthians 2: 14-16).
Christian, are you up to that task of spicing up the world with Christ daily?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org