I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
I believe I’ve mentioned how my dad was a farmer, on and off, most of his life. I can always remember him talking about alfalfa, and all the cuttings they’d get when he was a boy. He always stressed how important it was for alfalfa to be cut and dried in the field. When I asked him about it, he said some of the cows would bloat terribly if it wasn’t fully dried. If the cow was too bloated and it couldn’t be reduced, they had what looked like a nail with a metal tube that they’d stab into the cow and relieve their bloating. All this because of some sort of chemical that needed to evaporate out of the plant before they could eat it. The drying out transformation was the best method for using alfalfa as feed.
The alfalfa needed transformation from a lush, flowered plant to a dried bland-looking plant. Its potential toxicity became nourishing for what ate it. While ‘drying out’ isn’t the transformation we’re looking for in the Lord, it provides a wonderful example of how we are transformed from what we were to being like Jesus, something honoring and glorifying to him. This transformation can allow us to ‘nourish’ our fellow Jesus followers, helping them to flourish.
Over the last 15 years or so, I can think of several areas in my life where transformation has happened. The thoughts that I pause on, my reaction to adversity, how I look at and think about others are but a few. I’m certain, if you pause for just a moment, transformations you’ve experienced will come to mind. When they do, jot them down, and thank God for that transformative action and praise him for it!
By Rich Obrecht