Vanilla Men

Old fashion ice cream stands used to sell three flavours, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Of course nobody wanted vanilla. It was considered a plain ordinary non flavor.
 Fear of rejection is a very powerfull force and can cause men to go to great lengths to conform. Yesterday I went into a cafeteria for the oil and gas workers on the Alaska hyway. Four men stared at me and did a scathing mental inventory of how tough I was. Men do these things, they can instantly size up a man and tell what he’s made of. I’m sure I came up lacking because my uniform was not up to their standard. They all had on dirty baseball hats, grubby jeans, boots and tough guy T shirts. You know the kind of shirt I mean, Harley Davidson logos, beer brands, any slogan that reflected the wearer’s tough guy image. The colors must be the correct shade to complete the uniform. The unwritten code is strict offering no mercy to violators. An incorrect smile, swagger or attitude would immediately betray you as a non cool person. Reject, back to their conversation. 
 Non conformity is a tough nut to swallow. The rejection we endure can be an unbearable price to pay for not wearing the correct uniform. Now can you imagine what their reaction would be if I attempted to tell them about Jesus Christ? Unthinkable! I like to be a silent witness in these situations.      
 Actually it’s fear of rejection, fear of the face of man. It’s very rare to see a man that is totally different. We all conform to some form of uniform or another. Be it a tough guy image, preppy, college slob, nerd, hippy, grunge, skater, metro man, pick your slot. Your preferred uniform will tell you if you’re in doubt. 
 All are shades of vanilla ordinariness and conformity. The man that is not defined by others opinions is a rare and endangered species. To follow Jesus Christ is to regard pleasing man a thing of your past. It means to consider yourself dead to the tyranny of fashion and all the compromising it requires of us. 
 The mark of a real man is how little he has compromised and how resolute he is to take the path in life less traveled. 
 Lord, help me to be that man. 

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