You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in the true righteousness and holiness. --Ephesians 4:22-24
Ella Danielle Byington-Byerson. She neatly penned the name her parents had given her. Ella's wrist ached as she signed the inside covers of one-hundred plus books. The manager of the store scurried about opening additional boxes of Beauty Beneath the Beast. His store had only experienced one-day sales like this at Christmas.
Ella tipped a deep green bottle to her lips and swallowed as a young mother explained to her son that Perrier was water not an alcoholic beverage. Then she went back to signing. The front book cover presented a glowing young woman, perfect teeth, eyes, and lips-all probably fake. This was not Ella's first book, but it was the one that struck home. She'd had a harsh realization that morning when she opened the first book and noticed small wrinkles below her knuckles. Shocked that she'd never noticed them before, Ella balled her hands into a fist and watched as the skin tightened to smooth and young looking. Where had this come from?
She found herself worrying about the corners of her eyes. Wrinkles. A strand of hair dropped across her cheek. There was probably grey in her blonde. She'd always been beautiful and now, the reality of aging stung.
We place such importance on things that really do not matter. Oh, I'll be the first to admit that I pull a bit closer and peer at the tiny wrinkles forming around my eyes. Who doesn't as the reality of aging settles in? I'm comfortable with who I am. My earthly body could stand some improvement, a nip and a tuck here or there, a little touch around the lips and eyes, but none of that matters in heaven (besides, that makes it hard to justify the cost on earth). I'm excited for my new body, and I wonder what it will be like to be perfect again.
Until that day, Christ has armed me with all I need here on earth. He's given me the ability to put off my old self and put on my new one -lose the sinful skin and step into the new. The fit can get a little snug when the old me tries to break through. Once I'm squeezed in, I can feel the new taking hold and shaping me, giving me back what I'd lost as a child. The problem is most of us aren't willing to wiggle and make the fit. If we do; if we make the effort, it's a tiny taste of heaven-the flavor of the new body and the new life. The hard part is keeping it clean.