They called it “spaghetti ice.” I called it heaven on earth. When Judy and I were married I was in the Air Force. About a year later we received orders to serve in Sembach, Germany. Let me just say it was an amazing time. We were newlyweds living in a beautiful country of hills and mountains, lush valleys, incredible evergreen forests and fairy tale castles. Like I said, it was pretty amazing. And it got better when I bumped into spaghetti ice.
We discovered spaghetti ice cream with some friends from church. “It” lived in a small town called Landstuhl. It was about a 15-mile drive to the place that sold this small piece of heaven. It was worth every mile. “What is spaghetti ice?” you say. Well, let me try and describe it to you.
First, imagine (I’m already drooling) a rich vanilla ice cream, pressed through a mold. It goes in looking like ice cream and comes out looking like a four or five-inch mound of spaghetti. Then right in the middle of the ice cream sat a big dollop of incredible whipped cream. Can someone say “amen?” But wait, I’m just getting started.
After its journey through the press they would lavishly cover the ice cream with a strawberry berry sauce. The crowning jewel was an ample sprinkling of finely ground coconut. I’m about to shout “hallelujah!”
Ready to buy your ticket to Landstuhl? The thing that amazed Judy and me was the fact that something so not spaghetti could look like spaghetti. It’s like your eyes were seeing one thing and your tongue was tasting another. The way they pressed it and dressed it make it look like something that it was not. Wait, I think that is what the world wants to do to us.
You see, regardless of the circumstances, there is a constant pressure from the world to press us and dress us like them. We are pressured to think like the world, dress like the world, do business like the world. Shortly after that we start being bitter like the world, hating like the world and fearing like the world. That could be why so many believers are fearful in these corona virus days. They are seeing life and circumstances through the eyes of the world.
But the deal is God says we are different. While He was praying for us, and how cool is that, Jesus said, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” Check it out. It’s recorded in John 17:16-17.
That word sanctify is a word that simply means “to be set apart.” When we became one of God’s kids He set us apart from the world. We live differently, speak differently, and do life differently. Now wait. That doesn’t mean we are better than anyone but we are to be different. And that different is to be the magnet that draws others to Jesus.
So, like the ice cream is pressed and dressed to look like spaghetti we will be pressured to be like everyone else. And when we are like everyone else we lose the ability and privilege to share the hope of Jesus. That’s why Paul writes in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Don’t let the world put you through the press rather let God’s Word renew you to look like Jesus. People need hope today. People need Jesus. If that is going to happen we have to resist the urge to become “spaghetti ice” in a world that needs truth–that needs the real deal. Don’t be afraid to be different. Whether the fear comes from the corona virus or being different–we can rest in Him. After all, He’s got this.