About a month ago, on a gray evening, I was driving to a church event. As I was traveling down the road, I suddenly jerked the steering wheel of my pick-up truck to the left to avoid hitting a person dressed in all black, running with traffic. I hadn’t seen them in the gray of the evening, the darkness of the clothing and no reflectivity at all on them. I passed it off as a crazy moment. Then the next day, again gray as Ohio is in late February and early March, I encountered another runner, all in gray or black clothing but this time running towards me. The person’s face caught my eyes. This set my mind in motion.
As Christians, are we trying to be camouflaged, as not to be noticed, and yet working to train for the race that God has set out before us? Yes, we are to be in training for the work and the holiness that is before us. But are we to practice in camouflage? Are we to practice our life in Christ, under a veil of secrecy? The two runners were out exercising and doing a great job of their running, practice and training, but they failed in their ability to be noticed. This failure almost cost them their lives.
Oh, I can hear the readers now. I can hear the runners now. You are a bad driver! You were a distracted driver! Let’s not jump to this too quickly. God intended that everyone that believes in God, the Father, Jesus, the Son and the Holy Spirit, to be light to this world. We are to be noticed! Everything we do is to be noticed. Not for the sake of what we are doing but for whom we are living for. We are to be the beacon on the hill, shining the light, love, and hope of Jesus to a world that is in desperate need of direction, hope and help. We are to be running with reflectivity, reflecting the glory of Christ and his impact on our lives. We are to be willing to die for the sake of Jesus (Mark 8) and the sake of the Gospel. It is not enough to put on the clothes and go run the race of the gospel if we don’t let the glory of Christ shine.
As Christians, we have been conditioned by this world to be camouflaged. In fear of what others may think, in fear of what others may say, in fear of what may happen to us. The ridicule, the snide remarks and the fact that we won’t fit into the mold of the world. This has caused many of us to become camouflaged Christians, running alone, in the gray of the day, not being noticed, and not spreading the truth of God.
So what all does this mean? May I challenge you to be noticed? Run the Gospel life to be seen! Stand out, be different, be bold and be a beacon of light to this world. Oh, you don’t want to see me run, but when you do, the orange pumpkin will have legs. Bright Orange Pumpkin! Run for God and Be loud with your clothing in the process. It could save your life and the lives of others. Enjoy the warm weather that lies before us. Praises and be safe!
The writer is the pastor of Immanuel UCC in Kettlersville and St. Peter’s Church in New Bremen.