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You’re more than a muskrat

As a teenager I felt ordinary, but not normal.  When I discovered women, I tried to mask my deficiencies the best I could.  I procured a strange wardrobe featuring platform shoes that any band member of Kiss might be proud of, and liberally splashed my person with musk cologne.  My…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

As a teenager I felt ordinary, but not normal.  When I discovered women, I tried to mask my deficiencies the best I could.  I procured a strange wardrobe featuring platform shoes that any band member of Kiss might be proud of, and liberally splashed my person with musk cologne.  My parents would snicker as I went off on dates. I was a sight.

Despite all my attempts, my sense of ordinariness, my deficiency even, couldn’t be masked by the musk.  I was more a muskrat than anything.

The scent of musk hints at possibility without revealing it.  We may wear it, but it can’t define us.  It can enhance what lies beneath the surface, but it is an accent, not substance.

Later in life I’ve found that if life can’t be defined by musk, that the concept of musk can at least hint at a life that’s not ordinary.  Three musk-related words for me symbolize the decidedly non-ordinary life God intends for us to live.  If they require a measure of literary license, at least they are memorable.

1) Musketeer – A friend and partner in life and mission.  We need traveling friends on the journey of life.  We weren’t meant to fight life’s battles alone.  We need to be able to ride with a team that can declare, “One for all and all for one.”  It’s a covenant that recognizes that life’s struggles are better born corporately.

2) Musket  – We’re called to fight for honor and for the king.  We’re called to defend the weak and a symbol of our fighting spirit and sense of higher purpose is our equipping-weapons to fight with.  We don’t have to scrap with our bare hands – we’ve been given powerful spiritual weaponry (as explained in Ephesians 6) to take on the enemy of our souls.

3) Muscadine – The wild grape is symbol of celebration.  An un-ordinary life must be marked by celebration.  We need to dance and sing.  We need to live lives defined by joy and by worship.  As an insecure adolescent I may have felt ordinary, but caught up in the glory of corporate worship and celebration, my muskrat life recedes like a dim memory.

Comments (9)

  • good stuff, did that have anything to do with Karen’s comment about the animal smell? on your twitter column?

    I bet there will be some odd musky odor by Sunday!

  • You see, Seth – you get all deep and meaningful and all your pals can do is pick up on the aroma!! Still getting over the image of the platform shoes myself…….

  • Seth,

    I still am laughing at the first paragraph and had to comment because I can’t focus on the rest of the blog. I’m sure it’s great, but it will have to wait until the musk odor recedes and the platform shoes are “devisualized”.

  • Seth you said, “Later in life I’ve found that if life can’t be defined by musk, that the concept of musk can at least hint at a life that’s not ordinary…” Ordinariness is aborted the moment we put on that aroma redolent of the abundant life…. and spread the fragrance where it’s needed the most.

  • well I didn’t even know the ole musk cologne really had anything to do with the muskrat. I learn somethin new every day.
    Scott’s correct– you’ll be truly musky by Sunday.
    Really deep down at heart though you should admit it you musk be an oakie from muskogee.

  • I’m with Katie. I’d like to see the photos of that era.

    It paints a pretty good picture though of what God can do with a musky old rat.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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