Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Wrong Trousers

I mostly use my gifts to do things I love - child-minding on Thursdays, for example. It doesn't feel like a duty; it's something I look forward to. Sitting on certain committees, baking for fundraisers, collecting old clothes for a charity - they're not work! I enjoy sharing my gifts! They are also all things I choose to do.

So what happens when I'm faced with something I don't want to do? Well, I feel uncomfortable. Kind of like wearing a pair of jeans that aren't my size - they don't look good, they don't feel good.
the wrong trousers
It happened to me on Sunday, right as I was leaving for church. Literally one foot out the door. The details don't matter, but I'm human and my first reaction was a great big sigh to myself. Followed by a silent moan of Really? NOW? And an inner cry of But I don't want to!

As I was steaming over missing church and my foiled plans for the day, it dawned on me that my problem wasn't missing the service at all. My real problem was my attitude. 
Is this how I am, I help out when I want to and when it makes me feel good, and leave all those other, less heart-warming, less interesting opportunities to someone else, because well, those things just aren't my style? I hope not!
The gifts I've received were all freely given to me, and I have no problem using them on my terms. Who am I to rail against bringing them out when God asks me to? And who am I to refuse to help because this time it requires a little more effort, and wasn't my idea? 

Oops. God had thrown a special event for me to attend and I didn't read the memo re: the dress code. Instead of showing up in a dress of compassion embroidered with patience, cloaked in loving kindness, I'd come in a velour track suit with ME!ME!ME! written in diamante across the butt. Talk about the wrong trousers!

So I asked for a change of clothes, and wouldn't you know? God is an amazing host, and of course He had an extra outfit in my size. It was even better than anything I own, so I ditched my ego pants (they were way too big, anyway) and slipped into something tailor-made, just perfect for the occasion, ready to attend to His will, confident in His love.  

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another... And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14
linked up with Emily's Imperfect Prose


  1. I love this post!
    Great metaphor here on the wrong trousers. {go Willace and Grommet}
    Such good thoughts on dressed in God's Spirit and not self. Which we all know is important and "the right thing to do" and all that, but our own "ego pants" are so good and sneaky blending in, camo-style, with spiritual wear.
    Your clever analogy will stick with me.

  2. Great words of encouragement and conviction. I think there is a balance between saying no to things that aren't within your calling but always saying yes to the things that are comfortable within it. Sometimes the things we don't want to do are the very things God uses to shape us. Nice meeting you through Imperfect Prose.

  3. thank you for the smile
    the remembering of The Wrong Trousers
    you are a delight!

  4. SO good... so hard. It's all about dying to ourselves isn't it? This is the gospel. Thank you for linking up. Love you friend, e.