Recently, I took my car in for a routine oil change. Whilst paying for the service, I noticed that the tires of my car were in pitiful condition. Thus, I was in short order treated to the great pleasure of purchasing new tires. While the man at the register ran my credit card, I spied the recommendation line on the work order; it informed me that the brake pads on my Chevrolet were heavenly worn, and in urgent need of replacement. Just my luck...
After the sticker-shock had subsided though, I recalled the kids movie Shrek. In it, the title character, a crude and hulking ogre, declares that ogres are like onions...because they have many layers. Onions make for an interesting metaphor...they have been a part of the human diet for an incredibly long time, and are so ubiquitous they have even become idioms; in France, telling someone to "tend their onions" is akin to saying "mind your own business".
Linguistic and culinary matters aside however, onions do indeed have layers. One can only see an inner layer after removing an outer. My car was the same way: it took some work and a look to notice the tires, and it took removing the tires to notice the brakes. As Christians, we must be mindful of the layers of our faith. To walk in Christ's name is to be willing to conform ourselves (wholly) to the image of Christ. This is in effect a transformation...or 2nd birth as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John 3.
As we progress in faith, we tend to find ever more things about ourselves that we are compelled by the Holy Spirit to commit to God...we may begin a daily devotional and realize we must improve our prayer life. That may progress to finding a willingness to volunteer in our church or community at large. As our sin-clouded layers become more transparent, we discover anew the need for transformation in our lives. Our life's walk is not to be a straight-shot kickoff return for a nice rest, but rather a jog through the woods...a continual process of finding new paths and discovering how we can best press on to bring glory to Christ...the one who showed us what it means to live in the image of God in the first place.