Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reflecting Grace

As an employee of the Town of Culpeper, one of my responsibilities is to buff out scratches that build up over time in our facility’s waxed floors.

You see, by buffing the floors with a rough pad, you remove a very thin layer of wax, and the true glory of the floor's finish is revealed.

Strangely enough though, it is not the floor that catches your eye, but what the floor is reflecting.  As I am buffing the floors, I constantly try to see if the fluorescent light tubes which are in the ceiling above are becoming sharper.

The floor is not my focus, what the floor is REFLECTING is what I’m focused on.

It's the same thing as looking in a mirror.  You are not actually focused on the mirror itself, you are looking at what the mirror is reflecting.  The only time you actually look at a mirror is when something is wrong with it.  A streak of shaving cream or a dirty handprint distracts from the reflected image.

In these cases, the mirror calls attention to itself.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to bring glory to God by doing good works.  But how can you reflect the attributes of God without calling attention to yourself?

This past week I learned that my brain tumor has returned and I will be having another brain surgery on December 2, 2013 to see exactly what type and grade it is.  This will be followed by specific chemotherapy and radiation treatments to eliminate or shrink as much of the tumor as possible.

I was expecting this, as the doctors told us that there would be a 95% chance of the tumor returning, but it still was a surprise.  The following day at work, I moped around while telling people the “bad news”.

Now I am by nature a very positive person, so it goes to reason that my standard response to the question “How are you doing?” is “I’m doing great!”

But that morning I modified my response to “I’m doing very well despite the circumstances.”

After saying this two or three times, God grabbed me by the shirt-collar, yanked me aside, and asked me two questions.

“How are you feeling?  I mean how are you REALLY doing?”

“Um, good actually…”

“Then why are you calling attention to yourself by tacking on that disclaimer?”

He left me to chew on that for a while and I saw the point He was trying to make.

By calling attention to myself, I was not reflecting the Peace and Joy that God had so graciously given me.

I was not reflecting His Attributes.

I was not reflecting Him.

All the attention was focused on me, Joe.

The purpose of life is not to call attention to ourselves; it is to be a display of God's Grace.

What circumstances is The Lord using to "polish you up" so others may see Him more clearly?  Are we calling attention to ourselves or shining His Glory?

Joe Boronat

Matthew 5:14-16 (NLTSE)
"You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."