Moving is difficult. There are times when I just shut the door and walk away from the boxes. Then there are times when I come across things that make me smile, make me laugh, and bring back precious memories. Recently, I came across this...
Yes, it's a brown plaid bathrobe. If you are wondering what kind of memories this could bring up, here's the story...
I went on a snowboard trip with the church youth a few years back. Before returning to the cabin and after a full day on the slopes, we stopped at a convenience store. All the students were inside, waiting in line to pay for their snacks. In walked a man who caught my attention. He was distinctly different, dressed in a brown plaid bathrobe, jeans, and a long apron like Santa wears in his toyshop. He was wearing flip flops with toe rings on half his toes even though the temperature was below thirty degrees and there was snow covering the ground. His hair was white, and uncombed; almost Albert Einstein-like.
He walked to the back of the store, picked out a sandwich and heated it in the microwave. Slowly he walked to the front of the store and looked around at the line of teenagers waiting to pay. With no apprehension, he lifted the sandwich into the air and said to the clerk, “I’ll bring back the wrapper and pay you later.”
With that, the clerk replied okay and motioned to the man to be on his way. This gave indication of his reputation of integrity. The local people within the store paid no attention to his attire or appearance. They smiled and greeted him with respect and with what appeared to be high regard.
I was fascinated by this man. In fact, I could not stop thinking about him. He captivated my thoughts. What was it about him that intrigued me? Was it the fact that he possessed an air of confidence? Was it that I saw no insecurity, no worry? It made no sense that my mind kept wondering back to the brown plaid bathrobe and toe rings.
The more I thought about this man the more I realized that he represented someone I wanted to be. Someone who was willing to step over the line and be who Christ created him to be. Isn’t that how we are supposed to be, not worried about trying to please the people around us? Not that we don’t care about others. It’s just that we are to be focused on serving God, focused on His plan for our life. And isn't that how we are supposed to live, willing to take risk for what we believe? Willing to take risk for the One we follow? So much of the time I feel that we get caught up worrying about what other people think of us or whether we are safe or comfortable, rather than following God without reserve.
So, this is where I am. I am at the point of following my God-given desires with reckless abandon. I am ready to step into the wide-open, spacious life. I am ready to live openly and expansively. I am ready to put on my brown plaid bathrobe and toe rings. I am ready to step over the line and be who God created me to be.
When girls in our youth group moved to a place where they were ready to step over the line and be who God created them to be, they too received a brown plaid bathrobe with this story attached. In addition, it included the following...
I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life…I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!" 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 The Message
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
This is my prayer for you ---- May you follow your God-given desires with reckless abandon. May you do something incredibly daring for Jesus with your life. May you step over the line into the wide-open, spacious life that God has for you. May you wear the brown plaid bathrobe and toe rings and be who God created you to be.