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…dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.  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.   Romans 12:1-2  NLT

My little brother, sister and I molded and created all sorts of silly stuff out of play dough together when we were little.  My sister had this amazingly fun set of hard plastic molds we used to make all sorts of foods and play restaurant on little plastic plates.  We’d end up pressing, rolling, pinching, cutting and flattening away for hours.  To get the best fruit or pizza or cheeseburger you had to push the play dough really hard so that it filled all the little spaces of the mold.

When my girls were little we acquired our own play dough toys that introduced them to the fun of moldable squishy stuff.  They even had a fuzzy pumper – do you remember those?  A little plastic barber chair held various characters with little holes in their heads.  As we pushed the play dough through they grew skinny long hair of all different colors we could cut and regrow, cut and regrow.

If someone forgot to close the lids tightly, however, we’d end up opening a jar next time we wanted to play only to find a tubular-shaped brick of hard, brittle stuff that crumbled into unusable pieces.  Bummer.  Can’t do anything with that but throw it away.

I was thinking today about growing closer to God, pressing into Him so that I take on His image and shape.  I imagined myself as a lump of play dough (bright blue and cute of course).  To come out looking like God I need to remain pliable in His hands.  I need to make sure I stay only in His hands.  If I let the world try to squish me into its own mold the outcome isn’t going to be what I’m hoping for.  I need to make sure I don’t get dried out by the world but stay soft and tender towards God by submitting to Him and His Spirit.  Sometimes it might feel a little tight and there will definitely be some pressure as God’s big thumbs work on me but the end result will be so worth it.  I think of the words of an old hymn with the words, “Stamp Thine own image, deep on my heart”.  I want that, God.  I’ll stay squishy – and only for You.

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