Think of the wear and tear that the cobblestone road has seen over the years. Think of the millions of soles that have pounded the ground. Think of the millions of bicycle and car tires that have traversed that pathway. Yet the cobblestone road doesn't fall apart. You can see in between the individual stones. You can see the foundation through those cracks; you see its character.
My favorite part of these roads is the character behind them. I know that may sound weird. But think about a newly paved road. Sure, it's perfect on the outside, but through the years of exposure it cracks, it fades, and it develops imperfections that have to eventually get re-paved. I get tired of that perfection sometimes. I feel it's what this world always strives to be when we all know it's not. The cobblestone road has its flaws, but it still holds together. The foundation is strong enough to show through and each of the stones has its purpose.
I think our character as Christians should be like that. It's okay to have cracks in our exterior. We all should have those cracks. But our foundation in Christ should shine through those cracks. It should be the glue that holds everything together. It's alright to have those ruts along the way, but our character, coming from our changed heart in Christ, should not alter in the world's constant, negative influences (not all are negative, I'm just talking about the negative ones here - we all know they exist!). It's okay to not to have the glamorous exterior of a newly paved road. That's what this world expects to see. We, as Christians, know better. We are not above the world, we are in the world. And that's okay, but we need to live in it with Christ as our foundation, shining through our outward cracks. I need to keep this in mind as much as anybody. I forget it from time to time. As I walk through life, Christ is the glue that holds me together. What kind of character do you want people to see in you?
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ."