We all (hopefully!) get dressed at some point each day. We might check the weather, look to the glossies for inspiration, try on a few different options, consult the dress code, and try a few different options.
Yet it’s possible to have the worst day in even the best of outfits. And while we might devote much time, income and thought to what is hung on the body, it is rare to prepare as much the person within. And yet it is a person’s spirit that can be crushed by a discouraging word, overwhelmed by the day’s challenges, receive unexpectedly sad news – all while the body stands still on the train. Yet the body is the one we slave to dress.
“If we spent half the time we take getting physically dressed getting spiritually dressed instead, we’d be much better off” – Joyce Meyer
The truth is no one can really predict what will happen today. But in many ways we run out into this unknown wilderness on a daily basis completely naked and lacking the required safety gear. When I fail to prepare, I can even stir up my own unnecessary trouble – with people, with inanimate objects, with the bus pole for SMACKING INTO ME (the nerve of it!).
But God dresses us in “strength and dignity” (Proverbs 31:25), “power from on high” (Luke 24:49) and “humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5). We are encouraged to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12) and to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:14-15). We have “faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet” (1 Thessalonians 5:8). None of these items cost a thing, they never go out of style, and they look fantastic, darling, on everyone. Why leave them on the hanger?
We might love our shoes and spend hard-earned dollars on trends, but in truth, it’s quite an unrequited love that doesn’t do much beyond a short-lived pick-me-up. It might merit a cheap wolf-whistle or a compliment, but it doesn’t provide true purpose in a day, energy to face difficult tasks, or deep peace in the heart. And perhaps these are the things we need the most.
For; “Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met” (Matthew 6:27-33, The Message).