Friday, April 28, 2006

A Chameleon in Disguise

A chameleon can’t help itself. It changes colors. Unlike the horse pulling the carriage in Oz, it can’t celebrate glorious colors and flattering hues. It must adapt or die. In the life of the scampering changeling, there is little room for celebrating colors. They are for managing, using, manipulating and life saving.

Adaptation to survive is a handy skill, I would think. I doubt the chameleon school system puts off educating their charges on the values of picking the right background to match their skill level. It is likely that during the first week of the first grade, Mrs. Hue, looking over her charges, will discuss the wisdom of one shade of green over another.

These are important skills for a defenseless chameleon. How sad to find a person willing to live as a chameleon; always shifting, disguising, and hiding; never confident of potential, prospects, or presence; fearing every threat as mortal, every opportunity as hopeless and all plans as futile fantasy.

The ability to adapt to challenges is a cause to celebrate. The dinosaur lacked the power to adapt. Today he powers our society from his vast pools of oil reserves.

Companies that made the best buggy whips adapted to a changing market or risked their trademarks becoming a footnote in a niche world of elite two wheel carts pulled by a matched pair of flashy black percherons.

Morphing is not bad. It celebrates a new vision, new possibilities and a hope in the future. However, becoming a lie just to survive what appears to be an overwhelming enemy is not morphing or adapting. It is certainly not a cause to celebrate even if it does show a measure of street smarts or even some stealthy combat skills.

Our society celebrates a winner. We agree. What we do not agree on is what makes up a winner. Those with perspective say a winner is one who is genuine, interacts with the truth and willing to embrace the outcome, regardless of it penalty.

Ultimately, the ones who will win in this thing we call life will take stock of their “three score and ten” and say, “When it was important, I was there. I counted among those taking a stand. I lived a life, even if for a brief time, of value in a transparent fashion.”

Easter is all about transparency, reality, and the willingness to grasp at obedience as it faced the threat of failure.

The cross was no chameleonesque opportunity or solution. It was love without reserve, lived - and died - in transparency. I can celebrate what appeared at the time to be a total loss, but only if I am willing to be just as transparent as The One who took me to Calvary.

You see, there are no chameleons on Golgotha.