Adapt not conform

This last year the world has had to adapt within a pandemic. We have changed the way we live. The verse today and this thought has made me realise that as a follower of Jesus there isn’t anywhere we go nor situation that we find ourselves in that we cannot adapt/change our lives in order to continue.

John the Baptist isn’t a reed blown in the wind. That is weak Herod with his reed-emblazoned emblem who put him in prison. John is stronger than Herod.

“If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces.” (Matthew 11 v 8)

Again in contrast to Herod in his palace with all his finery looking successful, John doesn’t look like that.

“John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.” (3 v 4)

Fine clothes in a wilderness is out of place. But if God had called you to the palace then that is a different matter.

The point is not that we shouldn’t wear fine clothes but that we should embrace the environment we are in and our purpose for being there.

There are wonderful examples from the animal kingdom of how in order to survive and thrive animals have adapted to their surroundings. For the sake of time, I won’t explain how they do it but just what they do. You can do your own research!

Alaskan Wood Frogs freeze their own bodies to survive the harsh -80 degrees F winters. In spring time they thaw out and come back to life.

Cuttlefish change their colour and texture to blend into their surroundings.

Antarctic fish, the notothenioid make their own anti-freeze to survive the cold harsh waters of the Southern Ocean.

But it’s not just the animal kingdom. Travel anywhere in the world and you will ask the question, how do people live here? Whether that be in the heights of the Himalayas or the scorched places of the deserts. But they do. They have found a way to adapt and it is fascinating.

John’s appearance had adapted to the wilderness years that he lived there and the message that was growing inside him.

When the people went out to see him they saw a man who looked like the wilderness man.

Here is my thought: Within the environment you are in right now (no matter how difficult your circumstance) lies an opportunity for you to adapt. You can find a way to evolve in order not only to survive but to thrive. You may be exactly where God wants you to be and He is waiting, speaking, helping you adapt, change and fit your life into that environment. It may be permanent or seasonal but you can do it. This is not weakness, this is strength. This is not conforming but adapting. It is different. To conform is to fulfil expectations of others and to behave in the way they want you to. To adapt is to adjust to new conditions and it is a huge accolade. You can do this!

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