Why do we do these things to ourselves? Today I left the house wearing a Harry Potter novelty tee shirt with holes in it because I had been cleaning and forgot to change back into my 'nice' shirt before I left. I looked ridiculous. So while I was out with my family I scurried into a clothing store and spent too much money on a new shirt to wear while I was out. Vain? Pathetic? Yes. The funny thing is that I never would have done it when I was younger. But now that I'm older I want to present myself well. Suddenly what strangers think about me really matters.
Lately my husband and I have been struggling with jobs and housing. Do we have a place to stay? Can we pay our bills? Yes. So why are we driving ourselves crazy? Because we care what people think of us. We have imprinted in our minds the words of some of the more discordant elders of our family; you know, words like "lazy" and "unambitious" and "disappointing" and "worthless". Basing our own life or the lives of others on what we think others think of us (as if they they think of us at all) is crazy. Yet we do it. And why? Because Jesus is not the center of our lives.
Now, I'm not some 'Jesus freak' who believes that nothing bad will happen to me or if it does I should paste a fake, strained smile on my face because Jesus is really in control so anything bad that happens to us is really ok and not that bad after all. I happen to think that Jesus loves us so much that he died for us. Me. You. The discordant elders in the family. Everybody. Nobody else can love us the way Jesus does. And being a mom I know a thing or two about love.
So why am I driving myself crazy over a shirt? Why is my husband so worried about 'where we will be five years from now' that it is difficult to appreciate the present? Beats me. Because I don't think Jesus will bar me from heaven because of a tee shirt. And I doubt He would shun our apartment because it's not 'luxurious' enough.
Why has my life been so crazy lately (other than being a mom, of course). It's because I've been trying to impress the wrong people. But I'm keeping my new shirt. It's really cute.