Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.
–The Tale of Despereaux, By Kate DiCamillo
My son and I have recently started reading chapter books together (which incidentally might be one of the most wonderful things in my life; there is nothing quite like the sparkle in a toddler’s eyes as you unfold the magic of tales spun from imagination), and we just embarked on the adventure of Despereaux. And this quote, I read it twice, because it’s so very wonderful.
There is a reason Jesus said that the path is narrow and few find it (Matthew 7:14). The life of a Christian is about as non-conformist as you can be. When you choose to follow Christ you have decided to put your very nature (that of sin and self) to death for the sake of living submitted to Christ. The path of a Christian is hard, it’s uncomfortable, it’s confrontational, and it demands death and renewal and transformation.
When we follow Jesus our entire lives change. Forever and constantly.
We are bond-servants to a God who calls us to die to ourselves, to our independence, to our sin, so that we can live in the beauty of his presence, where our greatest desires are met and exceeded.
And it is the most interesting fate.
It is a fate the turns the philosophy of the world upside down, with a God who exalts the lowly, and humbles the proud.
It is a fate that promises we will always be at odds with the ethos of this world that we call our temporary home, and despite (and perhaps because) of this we will have peace and joy that surpasses anything.
It is a fate that promises life because our God died, and resurrected himself. Our God lives, and so will we.
It is a fate like that of a seed that dies to give birth to new life. Our death to self gives birth to life–new and whole in Christ.
It is a fate that demands complete dependance on our God for salvation, transformation, and for every minute decision we make.
It is a fate that demands we defend the weak, the unnoticed and the oppressed.
It is a fate that demands that we love our enemies, with the love of a God who laid his life down for those who spat upon him.
It is a fate that demands that we forgive, endlessly and without exception.
It is a fate that holds a hope that does not disappoint. A hope in a God who loves those who hate him, a God who has defeated death, a God who’s glory cannot even be imagined.
It is a fate that turns every task and word spoken, the mundane to the extraordinary, equally into that of eternal significance.
It is a fate that reminds us that humans are not mere mortals. We are children of God, the Maker of the universe, valuable simply by being his.
Oh, it is an interesting fate indeed.