Blogger’s note: If you are a man, you may not relate to this next post, but I have a troubling earring problem.
I am missing one earring to all kinds of pairs. It’s like they are related to all the missing socks, but at least I know those get eaten by the dryer. The earrings? I have no idea. I take them off at the same time, side by side, yet when I
go looking for both of them, I usually can only locate one.
My single earrings taught me a spiritual lesson though, that I’d like to share.
A few weeks ago I was getting ready for church. Shower, hair, makeup, brush teeth. All the usual things. Then it was time for the outfit. This was not a surprise to me. I know I have to get dressed to go out of the house. I usually ‘think’ about my outfit the night before, and sometimes even lay it out. Something about Sunday morning outfits, though, that seem to trip me up. Everything needs to be perfect. I must look pretty, but not made up. I must look skinny, but not too sexy. I must try not to look fat, but not flaunt it. Needless to say, many of my Sunday mornings have been spent thinking much about what other people think.
So this particular Sunday morning I was going to wear a simple pull-over dress that I received many compliments on the last time I wore it. (Note: I’m like one of Pavlov’s trained dogs. You compliment me…I’ll wear it again)
I had forgotten the little fact that I’ve gained about 25 pounds since the last time I wore it. I was quickly reminded when I looked in the mirror. Strike one.
The next outfit I considered was pants (usually can’t go wrong there), but this particular day it was about 95 degrees out and the air conditioning in our church is not the coldest. Nix that idea. Being cool and comfortable was key. Strike two.
Finally, I hit a home run with another simple dress that I hadn’t worn in ages. It was a made of a knit: rayon and spandex blend, perfect for stretching and being comfortable. It was sleeveless, which is wonderful for being cool, but I still fought against putting it back in the closet. I finally decided my fat arms were just going to have to show. After trying it on and stretching it out in many ways (remember the 25 pounds?), I was ready to accessorize.
When I bought the dress, I made sure I purchased matching earrings and necklace because it was a royal blue color with white accents. I lost one of those earrings long ago, but since then had bought another set of jewelry. I threw on the necklace. (At this point I’m at least 5 minutes late) and started looking for the huge hoop earrings. One was hanging up right where it should be. It’s partner was MIA. I scavenged through my jewelry box, and all the usual “dropping off” places: my bathroom counter, the shelf where I keep my lotions, the end table by the couch, and it was nowhere to be found. By this time, I’m REALLY late and it occurred to me the reason why: because I cared more what other people think that what God thinks about me.
I’m nowhere near perfect and just to prove it, that morning, I wore only one earring to church. I had to remind myself and to show others that my life at times is disorganized, hectic and nowhere near spiritual, but that God loves me anyway. He shows far much more grace to me than anyone else.
He taught me that morning that when I spend all that time trying to please others instead of Him, I am placing them at a much higher priority level in my life. At that moment, other people were way more important to me than God and became idols in my life.
It’s so easy to say that I don’t care what others think, but deep down, I really do. Most of us, if honest, would agree. That one earring, though, reminds me to try to live in His grace.