Friday, January 22, 2010

Do you have sparkly eyes?

Good morning. Today’s scripture comes from Genesis 29:16-17 (New Living Translation): Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face.

The story of Jacob and Rachel is one of love and patience. From the first time Jacob laid eyes on Rachel, he was “in love” with her. That first glance hooked Jacob, and he was willing to work seven years for his Uncle Laban to gain her hand in marriage. Who among us would be willing to wait seven years to marry someone– with no other wages during that time other than room and board.

What has always attracted my eye in this story was the description of Rachel. This New Living Translation calls Rachel “beautiful” and “lovely” when Jacob saw her, but when he looked at her older sister Leah, she had no “sparkle.” The NIV calls it “weak” eyes, and the footnote in the NLT calls it “dull” eyes, but the Hebrew meaning is uncertain. In plain Ennglish, Leah was boring. What I believe Jacob saw in Rachel – but not in Leah – was a zest for life. Rachel was happy and vibrant, and Jacob was attracted to that. That’s a great quality to have in life.

Attraction of the eye takes on many forms for men and women, and it’s is very real. It isn’t wrong; it’s how God made us. That love-at-first-sight thing is what Jacob originally saw in Rachel, but seven years later, scripture says that Jacob “loved” Rachel. Being “in love,” as the passage above states, is infatuation. Part of that infatuation, surely, is that physical attraction. We want to make a good first impression, and Rachel seems to have that appeal, at least in Jacob’s eyes. But over time, Jacob grew to love Rachel. It took time.

Let’s get back to that sparkle that Rachel had, but Leah didn’t. Countenance counts, people. Are we happy and lively or are we dull and boring? How do we act after we’ve been around people for a while? Being happy and content is a sign of growth and maturity. God wants his followers to have that sparkle in the eye because it reflects on who He is. This has nothing to do with catching the eye of a beau – it’s about attracting others to Christ. It’s like the ad says: “Happy cows make happy cheese.” The fruit we produce is meant to sparkle and not be dull. It’s a choice we make.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to have that zest for life today. Help me to have a sparkle in my eyes as I go about doing your will. Amen

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