Transformation

Transformation. Just what does transformation entail? I suppose it depends on who or what is performing the transformation on whom.

Here is the short take from Merriam-Webster:

“: a complete or major change in someone’s or something’s appearance, form, etc.”

Rather trite? Maybe, upon first glance, but the “etc.” is what caught my attention as I considered the definition more carefully. Etc. Really?

Etcetera “is a latin expression that means ‘and other things, or and so forth’.” This, according to Wikipedia.

One just as well might say, “and so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby…”

Which brings us to the song, Everyday People, by Sly and the Family Stone. Now we’re getting somewhere!

Consider it:

“Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah, yeah

There is a blue one
Who can’t accept the green one
For living with a fat one
Trying to be a skinny one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same, whatever we do
You love me, you hate me, you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a long hair
That doesn’t like the short hair
For being such a rich one
That will not help the poor one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

There is a yellow one
That won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one
That won’t accept the white one
Different strokes
For different folks

And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
I am everyday people”

We, as individuals and as a society, could be TRANSFORMED if we took the message in this song seriously.

And while we ponder the lyrics of a 60’s pop song, which was the band’s first single to go to number one, let’s stick our toes into the fount of one of the apostle Paul’s charges to the church in Rome.

Romans 12:2

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” New Living Translation

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good and perfect will.” New International Version

Here is the take on Paul’s word from The Message. “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

We’ve gone from Merriam-Webster to Sly and the Family Stone to the apostle Paul. How about that?

Transformation.

Aren’t most all of the resolutions that are made, and often unkept, at the beginning of a new year simply attempts at transforming our lives?

We want want to change. We strive to do better. We seek peace, love, happiness, and fulfillment. And much of our seeking and striving is sought in the ways of the world. Some fad. Some  diet. Some trend. But, the path to transformation cannot, permanently, be found in popular culture or the ways of the world.

“I don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul”

These are lyrics taken from Radiohead’s hit, ‘Creep’. Ain’t it so?

Jesus taught us, in the Sermon on the Mount, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33  New King James Version.

God wants us to be transformed far more than we are willing to allow transformation to take place. Transformation involves change. A change of heart. A change of attitude. A change of habits. A change in the way we look at the world. A change in the way we think.

In order to be transformed, we must see ourselves, and the world, through the eyes of Christ.

The apostle Paul was living proof of this. He went from persecuting Christians to becoming a Christian himself. Now THAT is a transformation.

I reiterate his words found in Romans 12:2

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” New Living Translation

Happy New Year!

Grace and peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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