Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Pretty Package

In my bathroom drawer, I have about every type of cosmetic product you can imagine. There is lipstick, lip liner, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush, mascara . . . even some sparkly, glittery stuff to give me that fairy-talish quality. Then, there is the stuff that removes all the aforementioned stuff: cold cream, cleanser, astringent . . . Finally, there are lotions and creams and moisturizers to put back what the cleansers and astringents took away.

And that’s just for my face! I also have hair products galore. Hairspray. Gel. Mousse. Shiny spray stuff to give my hair that fairy-talish quality, so my hair will match my face. Of course, with all that, I need an assortment of shampoos and conditioners to remove the hairspray, gel, mousse, and shiny stuff.

The sad thing is, much of it only gets used a few times. Then, I discover that it doesn’t do what it promises to do. No matter how much stuff I put on my face and hair, I still look like me. Not Julia Roberts. Not Cinderella.

The word “cosmetic” actually comes from the Greek word, “cosmos,” meaning worldly. It refers to a skin-deep beauty. It’s all about the packaging. Funny, if we spent more time working on what’s inside our packages, instead of spending thousands of dollars and hours trying to make the wrapping look great, we’d sure get a lot more from our investment.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I love a pretty package as much as anybody. I like a pretty house. But if there isn’t love in that house, it’s no more than a box. I like a pretty face. But if there’s not a kind, generous, loving spirit behind that face, well . . . I’d rather move on to another face. It’s kind of like getting a gigantic, sparkly, beautifully wrapped bag of fertilizer. It may be pretty on the outside. But after a while, it’s gonna stink. It’s not worth any more than a pile of rubbish.

In the end, this package – my body, is going to be discarded like wrapping paper and ribbons. I don’t want that to be all there is – just a big ol’ box of nothing special. When all the glitter and sparkles and packaging are removed, I want what’s inside to be so lovely that the packaging looks like what it is – worthless. I want the real value to be inside the box, not outside.

God’s Word, His wisdom shows us how to increase the value inside our package. He teaches us to be kind and generous. He teaches us to be humble and compassionate. He shows us how to really love others, and to make every single person feel important. And when we spend time learning His ways, it’s kind of like He takes a cosmetic brush and makes our spirits more lovely, more valuable. Only His changes are the kind that last and last, and can’t be washed away – no matter what kind of astringent life throws at us.

I John 2:17 “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

8 comments:

Lilly said...

As a makeup fiend who is always drawn in by the packaging I get this, really get it. You have a gift you know that dont you. Very clever use of language to share some lessons.

Renae said...

Thank you, Lilly. You're an amazing writer as well. I guess we're the mutual admiration society! :-)

I'm not nearly as good with a make-up brush as you are, but I still get drawn in by the packaging! Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, as long as we remember that it's just packaging. No matter how glittery it may be.

Blessings to you!

Cheryl Barker said...

Renae, I like that image of God perfecting us with a make-up brush. I guess you could say He's the Ultimate Make-up Artist -- of our souls! Heaven knows I need one for the inside and outside both :)

Renae said...

Me too, Cheryl!

Jeanette said...

Excellent lesson, Renae! This is something easy to forget when all around me are the messages that I am only as good as I look. You have written about it so very well. It just could not be clearer (to us cosmetic-brush-wielding ladies, anyway!)

Renae said...

Thanks, Jeanette!

Tea With Tiffany said...

I relate to products that don't seem to do what they promise. Thankful we have God who always keeps his promises. And one day we won't care about our package, we will have our eternal one. Until then, we waste away a little more everyday.

Renae said...

I know, Tiffany! So glad we serve again who never changes, aren't you?