Thursday, September 9, 2010

Life: A Costume Party

How many of you have been to a costume party? How many of you have worn a mask as part of a disguise? How many of you played (or still play) dress up?

All those activities have the same concept: pretending to be someone you aren't. It’s fun sometimes. You can be a beautiful princess or maybe a swashbuckling hero. Perhaps you are a character from a book or movie. Whatever it is, there's one person you aren't: yourself. Sometimes children get tired of living ordinary lives and decide that, for an hour or two, they'll be a person that has a much more exciting life, a person that everyone loves and cheers for.

As most children grow older, they start to think that frilly dresses and over-doses of momma's makeup, or wooden swords and penciled beards, are foolish. They begin to stop playing the fair maiden or adventurer. But usually when you stop something, you start something else. Many young people, and adults, have a habit of wearing costumes and masks of their own. Perhaps a rough exterior. A rebellious attitude. Maybe a picture-perfect smile. We all have acts we put on to impress others, to have the audience cheer for us... because we're afraid if we show the person behind the disguise, people will be shocked. We're embarrassed if someone sees us stumble on the stage of life. When we stutter through a line, we run backstage to make sure our mask and outfit are still covering our flaws, wondering who might have noticed our blunder.

Even when we talk to God, sometimes there are things we hold back. We might say, "Alright God, I'm yours! You are in charge of my whole life... except this part." We think if we let God take control of that aspect of our lives, He might turn it upside-down and inside-out! God might ask us to be humble and wash off the makeup that covers our problems. He might ask us to act like... ourselves!

Why do we struggle with that so much? We can be so insecure, so dependant on the opinions of others, that we cease to be the person God made us. Our own image becomes an idol.

I used to hate to cry. I wanted to be tough and not allow those around me to see how much I was hurting. Every morning I would wake up, know that it was God Who gave me life and breath, but then shove Him aside and don my costume. Be honest, how many of you put on an act when certain people are around? How many of you worry about whether or not so-and-so approves of you? It's a problem we all have. We disguise ourselves, pretending to be the "real deal". But, once someone digs a bit deeper they can easily discover we're not who we say we are.

God knows this. He can see through the disguise. True faith in Christ means laying everything out before God, with nothing held back. Nothing for ourselves. No little deep, dark secret. No darling sin we keep giving into because it makes us feel good. Everything has to be surrendered. We will never experience the true joy Jesus offers until we've offered every part of us to our Savior. Maybe as you peel the mask away, you'll see places that need healing. It's alright. It is by Christ's stripes that we are healed. You may see places that need forgiveness. Jesus will take care of it if you ask; it is by His wounds that we can be pardoned.

Jesus said, "I came to give them life, and more abundantly."

Abundant, overflowing, surpassing life! That sounds like something I'd love to have!

In closing, I'll include a poem/prayer I wrote a couple years ago.


Hunkered down in

Pitch Darkness;

When did my own

Faults become so


My face is

Marred, my soul is

Dark; I need Your

Love to heal


But yet-

To be healed would

Mean laying

Bare all my


Am I brave enough?

Is remaining in this

Pit better than the

Reactions of

Loves Ones at the

Sight of my


Can I bear taking such a risk?

I Must Choose.

Fear is

Mighty, but I need

Life more

Abundant than what I


Give me

Courage to

Tear away the

Coverings; the

Valor to

Rip my

Mask apart, and

Thrust my

Face into the


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