Tuesday, January 31, 2012


It snowed twice this week. The first time it came down heavy and wet. The next time it floated like fluff. I doubt if my whole yard full would have filled a pillow. No shovel needed; just a swish of the broom cleared the walks.



No sooner do the lighter-than-air dandelion seeds quit scattering than the goldenrod fluff starts in. The late-autumn, wind-borne stuff still makes me sneeze. And soon golden, feathery Tamarack leaves will start to shed.

All the fluff is beautiful. Sneezes or not, it’s fun to watch it blow in the wind. One major problem with nature-fluff, however, is that whatever blows grows. Tiny seeds somehow manage to attach themselves to tiny specks of soil and—voila! A new dandelion or goldenrod stem to torment us.

There are many kinds of fluff in this world. In the literary world, it’s called Chick Lit—loosely-plotted, light-hearted fables about silly characters who spend their shallow lives trying to catch Mr. Hunk so they won’t end up, heaven forbid, lonely and unloved. In other areas of life, fluff can come in the form of a room full of “toys” or “awards” or “trophies.”

Fluff of any kind has little substance. It may bring the feel of cuddly softness babies feel when wrapped in a plush blanket. It may protect baby birds in the nest. It may bring the needed warmth of a down quilt or sleeping bag. It may even feel airy to the tongue, such as when we taste a light soufflé.

There comes a time when we need to replace our need for fluff for that of substance. Part of growing up requires that. We shouldn’t expect to be pampered all our lives. We must attain mental and emotional maturity along with our physical.

Spiritual “fluff” also can become a deterrent to our Christian maturity. Spiritual fluff can come in the form of easy-to-digest untruths about the Word of God. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears they will … turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

It’s easy to hear what we want to hear or read the light-hearted fables we want to read in order to feel comfortable. It’s easy to view our church as a fluffy quilt, forsaking Jesus’ command to go into the world and proclaim His message of hope and love. It’s easy to let our fluffy life take shallow root where it will hinder not only our own maturity but that of others. We are rather to be “mature in understanding.” (1 Corinthians 14:20)

Lord, help us to be discontent with the fluff of spiritual immaturity. Rather, help us grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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