The Lone Smartie.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, 

but be transformed (changed from the inside out)

by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2

Years ago one of my children discovered something crazy unique within a package of Smarties. “Hey, Mom. Look at this.”

I held it, squinting. Sure enough, one of the tightly wrapped, tiny tarts was on its side, daring to be different from the rest.

Crazy unique

Crazy unique

A swirl of wisdom rose from within. “What a powerful visual this is.”

“Mom, do you have to make a spiritual lesson out of everything?”

“Yes. And just so you know,” I stated grasping it firmly, “I’m keeping it. Go get yourself another package out of the bag.”

I considered that lone Smartie. It dared to be different, even at the risk of being ridiculed, and all the while destined for an open mouth of destruction – unless otherwise saved by a mother who (apparently) uses everything as a spiritual teaching tool.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world…

To conform is serious business. At times it is essential. If I don’t cut the fabric the exact shape as the McCall’s tissue pattern all will know somebody didn’t conform when one sleeve hangs longer than the other. If I don’t conform I could lose my driver’s license, my place on a ministry team, my job, my home, my marriage.

To conform is serious business. At times it is essential that I don’t. I must not allow myself to yield, to be pressed and shaped into a mold, forced to stand sentry alongside my fellow man just so I look and act the same when to do so would be contrary to what the Lord has called me to do. 

I considered this lone ballerina. She sat on the floor of the dance studio reading beneath a ballet barre. The Lone Ballerina-picmonkeyShe gave an open book her rapt attention while fellow students gathered in the center of the dance floor. Never once did she raise an eye to see if anyone was snickering, never once did her eyes wander from the page. Captivated by the words.

She didn’t conform until the instructor called the group together.

And she obeyed,

conforming as was right.

Do I dare look and act different from the world around?

If so, why? Is it to assure you see that I look and act nothing like this godless culture? Because with that self-righteous air I’m no longer conforming to an admirable pattern of godliness. Kinda looking and acting more like this godless culture.

And if not, why? Am I too fearful of being that one lone Smartie? Maybe factoring into my decisions too much of what others will think?

“Lay down on my side, Lord? But everyone else is… they’ll think I’m…”

"Do I look too ridiculous like this?"

“Do I look too ridiculous like this?”

The truth is, I will be shaped by something or into something.

Either I’ll allow the Lord to batter me into the shape of His choosing to serve His purposes, letting His word transform from the inside – even when it’s painful…

Or I’ll go merrily along, blend in, be vague about my faith, avoid arched brows of judgment, play super cool Christian…even though the Jesus in me will never catch the eye of anyone, tightly wrapped within my cellophane and looking exactly like the guy next to me.

So not smart.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, 

but be transformed (changed from the inside out)

by the renewing of your mind. 

Romans 12:2

See, there’s always a good lesson in candy. I feel smarter already. Wonder what I could learn from a bag of peanut M&M’s?


  1. Now I’m craving some M^M’s 😄

  2. lilaskid01 says:

    Wonderful. Lovely thoughts, word flow, and visual

  3. Transformed by the renewing of our minds, conformed to the image of Christ . . . Thanks for the reminder that formation is normal for Christ-followers.

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