Many years ago, I changed my car and decided to keep it overnight in the garage. It was a tight fit, so before I drove in each time I would stop, get out and turn the mirrors inwards. I did this for years. When I changed the car, I remarked to the salesman that I would like a car that had electric folding mirrors, and he said, ‘Yours had those mirrors.’ If only I had taken the time to find out exactly what my old car was capable of! There was more to my car than met the eye.
Many people go through life without realising that there is more to them than meets the eye. As we go through our developmental years, we learn which parts of us appear to make life work, and we focus on them. That is understandable, but we are in real danger of missing some of the qualities that make life rich and worthwhile. In fact, the part of us that we don’t get round to looking at properly soon feels a negative place to go.
Imagine that you are clearing out your loft and discover an old painting covered in dust and mildew that has been passed down through the family because no one knew what to do with it. You are going to be decisive, so you put it into the skip and think no more of it. The next day there is a knock on your door, and a neighbour who was walking his dog has your painting in his hand. He knows a bit about art, and the next thing you know is that he is telling you that, in his opinion, this could be a very valuable painting and, if you like, he will get it valued for you. At this point, your attitude to that painting changes dramatically. It is now treated with care and respect instead of being ‘in the way’ and fit to be thrown out. It still looks in a bad way but under all that grime there could be real value. Imagine your delight when you discover that your piece of ‘rubbish’ in the attic turns out to be a long-lost painting by a famous artist and is worth 8.9 million pounds. There was more to that painting than met the eye! God surveyed his creation and declared that it was ‘very good’ – and that includes you and me. Our wrongdoing lies in the fact that we do not make choices that are consistent with how God made us to be. At the heart of teaching a child that wrong behaviour is unacceptable is the message, ‘you are better than this.’ We were designed to reflect the glory of God – just as a masterpiece reflects the skills of the painter. That old painting in your loft needed great care and attention from the art restorer before its beauty could shine through. God sent Jesus to this world to restore our relationship with Him and for that work of restoration to be completed as we entrust ourselves to His love and care and walk with Him.