The Misfits was a 1960s film featuring Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, in which a sexy divorcée falls for an over-the-hill cowboy who is struggling to maintain his romantically independent lifestyle in early-sixties Nevada. The film was not a commercial success at the time of its release but garnered critical respect for its script and performances afterwards and is particularly poignant for being the last film both Monroe and Gable made (Clark Gable suffered a heart attack two days after filming ended and died ten days later.)

I was thinking about the film title as I have been meditating on Romans 12:2 in preparation for the next Bible study! “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom 12:2) In some ways, I feel that being a misfit is what Paul is talking about here. It’s so easy for us to be desperate to ‘fit in’ to our society and culture, to feel that we belong, to want to be accepted by others by conforming to the world’s standards, expectations, beliefs and patterns of living. We notice the misfits, the people who don’t fit in, the ones who are a ‘bit odd’, the people who perhaps don’t have the same social standards or beliefs of the majority. Being a misfit can be pretty lonely.

And yet Paul is reminding us that we are different. We are called to be different from the world. The Message says “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” We need to be ready to be different, allowing God to make that difference in us.

There is a line in Rich Mullins’ song ‘Somewhere’ which always resonates with me: the idea that in this world ‘we’re all hanging empty/ Empty and upside-down’. We don’t fit in. We are created for more than this world can offer. Let’s not settle for what this world offers us, however tempting it may be to want to ‘fit in’ and be ‘acceptable’. Let’s realise instead how much God is able to transform us and allow His life to be seen in us.