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Resale Beige…

By October 16, 2014August 30th, 2022Lost in Translation

I came from a family that didn’t have an extraordinary amount of disposable income. We didn’t live in poverty or anything, but Grandpa used to say that Mom could spend more with a spoon than Dad could make with a shovel. Mom made sure that we were always warm in winter and we didn’t want for the necessities, but we didn’t get much more than we needed to get by. Dad wasn’t extravagant, especially in the early years and I remember when Mom and Dad announced that they were going to do some decorating in the house. Doug and I were each given a chance to speak into the colors for our own rooms, but that was about it. As I remember, Doug chose a medium green and I chose my favorite color, blue. And we were both surprised to learn that we got our wishes for our own rooms, but the rest of the house was really rather plain – back in those days we called it “resale beige.”

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Walls and carpeting throughout the main part of our little house ended up beige. So did the kitchen counter tops (the color was actually called Persian Leather) and even the kitchen table was beige. The tile in the front hall matched everything else and I even remember the day they painted the door to the mail chute beige. For those of you too young to remember, back then, mail was delivered to each house and sent down a slot in the wall to the inside of the house where you would open a door and reach in for your mail each afternoon. But that wasn’t all that was beige. Each Memorial Day I painted the wrought iron railings at the front of the house a beige Rust-OLeum color. Believe it or not, Dad even painted our barbecue grill beige. I haven’t seem one that color before or since.

So you must get the idea by now. The reasoning was simple. If for some reason we had decided to sell the house, it would have more appeal to possible buyers. We were told that beige was a color that would allow people to see their own furniture and decorating in the space – a blank canvas, if you will, against a beige background. Since those days, I have hated resale beige. Too much of it during my life, I think…

The reason that all this came flooding back to me is that this past week-end I was painting on color samples to see how different colors would look on our front door. All I could think of was that anything was better than beige – dear God, please not beige… As I come to think of it, Janet and I really haven’t followed my parent’s advice throughout the years. We tend to move toward more vibrant colors. Another way to say this is that we are not decorating for the next owners – we are decorating for us. And If somebody doesn’t care for our taste, well, they can change it when we eventually sell our home. But to us, life isn’t about beige. It’s about being colorful and vibrant and vital. We haven’t and aren’t going to live our lives to somebody else’s expectation.

That’s how it should be with our faith. God didn’t create us to be “resale beige.” We are each created in God’s image and that means that we are anything but ordinary. And we shouldn’t practice our faith in a way that worries about anybody else’s expectation of what faith is or what appropriate worship is. That’s between you and God – period. While it is true that people who tend to think alike end up attending similar churches, faith is a highly personal thing and I don’t think God is as concerned about form as He is about our hearts. The Scripture is quite clear that we should approach God in a spirit of wonder and worship.

The verse for tonight comes from Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This affirms that we are created like God – hardly ordinary. My encouragement for this evening is that God wants us to live vibrant, colorful, worshipful lives. He doesn’t want us just going through the motions worrying about what other people think. My prayer is that you realize that all that matters is that God is pleased with your choices. And if that’s the case, it doesn’t make any difference what color you paint the walls… have fun! And have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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