A few weeks ago, I ran across a picture and article that startled me. Apparently, this creature appeared in a village in China and people there didn't know what it was. One lady thought it was a space alien. That sentiment grew throughout the village after she caught it in a laundry basket and brought it to the town sheriff. Eventually, they realized that it was a starving monkey and they began feeding it cucumbers and then peaches. Now, people are saying that it is a Lemur, not a monkey at all. Whatever it is, it looks pretty creepy.
But, this little unidentified creature got me thinking. It was malnourished and didn't look anything like what it was supposed to look like so it was easily confused with another species entirely – perhaps even something that doesn't belong on this planet. The spiritual analogy was pretty easy for me to make. As Christians, we have the choice to either feed on God and grow in Him or feed on the world and grow in worldliness. When we feed on God, Christ comes through and it is obvious what we are. We live as the New Creation that we are supposed to be. We look like Jesus. But, when we don't fill ourselves with Christ and the things of God, we end up looking like something else entirely. People don't know what we are. We are supposed to look like Jesus, but instead, we look like something twisted and distorted – religious people without any real life or worldly people who just use religion to cover all their bases. Galatians 6 says that if we sow to the flesh, we will reap destruction but if we sow to the Spirit, we will reap eternal life.
Sometimes as Christians, we can look like alien space monkeys – frightening and malnourished and like something odd and creepy. It is like we are feeding on death itself. But, when we go back to Christ and partake of Him regularly, we grow into who He created us to be.
Maybe this is a trite analogy, but I have kept thinking about it the past few weeks and when I don't feel like myself, it has caused me to wonder if it is because I am wasting away because I am not connected to Christ the way that I should be. His grace calls me back to Himself where I am renewed once again.