Friday, February 28, 2014

Identifying Waldo

Last week’s challenge on laughing daily has led me to some unusual places. I am pleased to say there was a lot of laughing along the way.

However, if you were to tell me that this week I’d be writing about a quirky little guy who dresses in strange attire, I would have thought you were strange.  Yet, here I am … in the wacky world of Waldo. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
(the USA) Florida, Texas, Minnesota, Nevada, Ukraine, South Africa, Kenya and Spain (yeah!).
More people joined us on the Inward Journey humor challenge last week.  Did you share some good belly laughs with someone?  I hope so. Keep praying for your brothers and sisters of faith following Daily Favor from around the globe.

Don’t miss out on this week’s challenge (below).  Q & A section.

What makes Waldo, Waldo?
I really don’t know how I stumbled upon this, but it may have been in my research on the word "journey". What I discovered is that Waldo too has taken a fantastic journey that has carried him all over the world (much like this blog).

For those who aren’t familiar with this unique character, he first originated in the United Kingdom in 1987 as Wally, but become Waldo in America. 

Since the first book was published people are drawn to this individual who has traveled his way around our planet.

I started thinking about what things help us to identify this loner that we have come to recognize?  So I asked my husband a few questions.  He was a little concerned with my sudden interest in Waldo, and like a good wife, I didn’t tell him.

What makes Waldo stand out from the crowd?  His glasses.”  Now that response wasn’t what I expected. For me it was his hat and striped shirt.  He later said, “That too.”

What makes people want to find him? “He’s likable … different.”  Hmm, really.

What makes him likable?  “He’s so friendly and nice.  There’s nobody like him. People want to be like him.”  OK, now we’re getting somewhere.  I was taken by him saying others wanted to be like him though. That was a bit “weird” don’t you think?

There are reasons why we can identify Waldo and it has to do with things that are characteristic to his personality and no one else’s. The writer designed Wally to be a one of a kind figure that was fashioned just for him. 

When I took in all the information, I realized why God led me to Waldo.  (Yeah, I know.) It seems His children are in the midst of an identity crisis.

Identify Theft

Several years ago my sister was the victim of identity theft. It was a complete nightmare for her. It took so much work to get it straightened out and much prayer. 

Why would someone want to steal her identity? The fact is she had something they wanted that was unique to her.  God’s kids have been victimized continually, but it isn’t from humans.

Without realizing it, believers are being subject to having their identity questioned and stripped away by satan.  They have allowed him to come in and remove their credentials as children of the most High God by giving in to the ways of the world.

In 2012 someone made a comment about a person who had left earth for Heaven. It really disturbed me because they stated that they never knew the person was a Christian.  He had succumbed to the things of the world and left no traces of whose child he was.  No identification as a citizen of Heaven could be found.

I don’t know about you, but I want to stand out in the crowd like Waldo or Wenda should I say, his female counterpart.

Will the real Waldo stand up?

We are living in a world of false Waldo’s. Christian’s are living as the world does with no identification marks on them.  You cannot pick them out in a crowd.

How has this happened?  A red herring has been planted in the midst to confuse them.

If you have ever looked at the Waldo books, you will notice that there are many “wanta-be” Waldos that are cleverly placed throughout the pages. 

Our eyes are drawn to them thinking they are the individual in question, but in fact, they are “plants" to dupe the seeker on purpose.

The devil devises red herrings in our lives to mislead or distract us from the most important things. He leads you away from the things of God intentionally so that you will fall into sin.  By doing this, you never reach the fullness of God or receive favor to become what He designed.

Satan has convinced believers that they need to look like and act like everyone else to fit into society.  The problem is that we don’t belong to this society, but are citizens of a new world – God’s.  It’s no wonder we get so discouraged.

You're Not Waldo & He’s Not You

In every book in the Waldo adventures, the character is set among hundreds of people who have something in common with him. 

Some are dressed so much like him that it’s hard to pick him out from among the crowd. 

Still, there can only be one true Waldo, right?

Let me ask you the same questions I asked my husband, but with you in mind.

What makes you stand out from the crowd?  Is it your personality, clothing, the people you hang around with or your financial status?

What makes people want to find you? Are you likable and perhaps a bit different?

What makes you likable?  Is it your outgoing personality, suave looks, fashionable attire or outlandish lifestyle that makes people like you?

How courageous are you to wear the same thing like Waldo, day after day?  Kooky glasses, floppy winter hat and stripes don’t make for being “cool” if you follow my drift. 

These things make a person different, unusual, peculiar and unique.  They identify a person, yet somehow we love Waldo.  Why is that? 

People relate to Waldo because he doesn't pretend to be someone else, and isn't afraid of being himself.  He is what he was created to be - different, kind, outgoing and unique.

Christians have lost their identification tag that says, “I belong to Jesus.”  Instead of standing out in the crowd as Christ followers, we often meld with the world hoping to shed a little Jesus light on a few passers-by.

I’d like to give you a heads up … you’re not Waldo and neither am I.  God has created us uniquely to be the person He designed, formed and patterned us to be.  He never intended for us to be conformed to a world where you would get lost in the crowd and look or be like everyone else.

There’s only one you and you’re it. God intended it to be that way on purpose.

There's Always A Sign

Take heed to the inner stop signs of the Holy Spirit, and think about which ones you have been missing.  Look inward and ask what would  I do or say if Jesus was in the room right now?

Stop dressing like the world and get a new look; your look (hopefully you won’t pick the House of Waldo for your wardrobe).

Stop going to the places the world goes.  Jesus may have dined among the unsaved, but he didn’t party with them in bars.  Nor did He send confusing signals. Remember you are to ask for wisdom.

Stop giving in to pressure just because others may be doing something. You know better than to do or watch something that isn’t Christ like.  We’ve taught our kids to “Just say no.”  If they can do it, so can we.

Identifying with Waldo

"Stop, I'm not interested."
I was so proud of a post I read this week where a man bluntly turned down a woman’s inappropriate comment by simply saying,

“I’m married and don’t accept hugs and kisses from others.” 

His wife may not have seen it, but God and others did.  He was my Waldo that day, because it made him stand out from all the others.

Last night I took the "Waldo check" as I was sitting in a class for Storm Spotters.  We were all there to help the community during emergencies, but there was one woman who stood out from the crowd and people were drawn to her.

She was nice looking, had great hair and dressed very well.  When it came time for a break she darted up to the instructor and insisted he look at her information.

As a teacher I knew how much he needed that break, but she didn’t care. She took up all his time and he never got a rest.  Toward the end of the class when there was a Q & A time, of course she had something to say.

"You false Waldo … red, herring, red herring!” I thought.  Come to find out she was a storm chaser, not a storm spotter for N.O.A.A. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  She led the class the wrong way, and at first they listened because of how she looked.

There was no one to blame but us. We should have realized that she wasn’t there to help by her actions. 

She had misled and directed us away from the true meaning of the course. Instead of understanding that we are to direct people away from danger, she was pushing others into it with her unprofessional tactics.

When the class was dismissed, no one talked to her.  As we were leaving, I looked at her and said to myself, "You're no Waldo!"   I wasn't judging, I was just observing.

Standing out from the crowd is actually what we should be doing, but not to make us look good or steal God’s glory.  Our "unusualness" is to bring people to the Lord and not into the dangerous arms of the devil.

Let's look at it in another way. What if that lady was there to help and had it all going for her.  The class would have thought she was special and blessed.  Our way of thinking would be entirely different, because her individuality was used for good not selfishness.  That would be a right reason to stand out in the crowd.

Be Your Own Character

It’s time believer’s become the “Character” God created them to be.  A one of a kind, stand out in the crowd, likable, want to be around person.

Start taking back your unique, wonderful identity.  You are you and that’s the way God likes it (I feel a song coming on here …)

Start embracing the inner person God created and loves. 

It’s not about the past.  This journey is about getting you to the goal of discovering the individual God wants to have a relationship with daily.  Get to know you like God knows you.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have past away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

I love new things don’t you?  There are some “antiques” that are nice, but for the most part I’d rather deal with new things.  God has given us a new start with salvation and a new approach (A.N.A.) for completing our journey.

Discovering the “new” things is part of the identification package as belonging to the Kingdom of God.  Grace, favor, mercy and blessings are all wrapped up in that Kingdom package, but the devil doesn’t want us to identify it as such.

This Week’s Challenge:

Be on the lookout for the false “Waldos” in your world. 

Are they originals or not? 

What is their intention?

Then, let the inner you ... the one God created, out of the box.  Take a chance on being that only one like you that people can pick out in a crowd as “the peculiar one.” 

There is a reason we are to be “Waldo like” meaning separate, different and unique.

“But you are chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation (God’s) a peculiar people.

Here is the reason: that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness (sin) into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)

Our church sings a song called “I Belong to Jesus”, and every time we do the place comes unzipped!  The song reminds us of all we have and should be then energizes us into action.

Since we belong to Jesus, everyone who comes in contact with us should recognize and identify us as being His.

We are free from sin and free to be what the Lord wants us to be.

If God is pleased with our individuality it’s time we learn about the person He created for Himself.  You are His Holy ground.  He loves and adores you!

This week take back what belongs to you through Christ – your IDENTITY.  Be your own Waldo.

I Belong to Jesus

Until next time, identify how God favors you.

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
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