Skolops will be evicted in 19 days.
I can’t wait to break up. It’s not me. It’s him.
Getting a surgery date is a huge load off of my mind. It’s surprising how much clarity knowing when you’re going to be sliced open can bring. I have a plan now. I know what I need to do over the next three weeks to get ready. The Christmas tree goes up this weekend. Shopping will get done and presents wrapped. I’ll be scoping out sales on chocolate pudding and cranapple juice.
This clear-headedness has brought me smashing into the reality of how distracted I’ve been for the last month or so. There’s a way in which this is justified; major medical issues will draw anyone’s attention. But in a bigger way, this distraction hasn’t been understandable at all. There’s no defending it. And it’s all because of this:
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:12-17 (NKJV)
My pastor preached on this passage yesterday. These words follow hard after Paul’s admonition in 3:1-11 to kill the old nature. We are to “put off” things like anger, blasphemy, filthy language and lying. We who know Christ are no longer to live the way we always have. Our lives are “hidden in Christ” (vs. 3). Totally swallowed up by Him.
We “put off” the old and “put on” the new. We live according to our true identity as beloved sons and daughters of the King. Our old wardrobe of selfishness and immorality is replaced by the garments of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, peace, thankfulness, praise and love.
So when my pastor asked us if we’re “wearing” the appropriate “clothes,” I felt the stab of conviction.
More often than not these weeks past, I’ve been living like my old self. No, nothing extreme. Nothing than anyone other than me would point out as an obvious sin. But my attitude, my thoughts…
I haven’t been engaged in the process of killing the old nature at all. I’ve been letting her come out to play.
My eyes are drawn to another verse in this chapter:
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” – 2
I love how God makes things so decidedly simple. When I let my mind go astray, I don’t see that I’m picking up old, stinking, filthy rags and wearing them like I’m strutting down the runway at a Ralph Lauren show. The ridiculousness doesn’t register. If I respond to His command and submit to Him so that my mind is disciplined, I see the nasty things for what they are. I want to throw them in the trash. I delight in trying on the new outfits He has for me. Clean. Fresh. Never out-of-style.
Colossians 3:2 is my verse for the next 19 days. When I’m tempted to lace up the duct-taped, putrid tennis-shoes of contention, I’ll set my mind on things above. When I’m ready to slip into the moth-eaten, stained coat of jealousy, I’ll set my mind on things above. When I’m about to pull the holey, two-sizes-too-small jeans of fear off the shelf, I’ll set my mind on things above.
I’m a new woman.
I get a new wardrobe.
Grace and peace along the way.
* Note: I’m not sure where the image featured in this post comes from. I took it from my Pinterest style board. If you have a link for it, let me know.