Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
Titus 2:3 (NIV)
Why is it that when we say it’s time to “put on the big girl panties,” it feels like a punishment or at the very least an obligation; something we have to do rather than something we choose? How about this…not only am I putting on my big girl panties, I’ve picked them out AND they’re cute? What a blessing to arrive at yourself with all the love, and the joy, and the embrace inherent in that declaration? It’s time to change the lens.
So often I am reminded, “be careful what you wish for…” Fairly recently I came across these words and determined to take them to heart…
The number one prayer in my life right now is that I will never allow myself to be offended by anyone ever again.
There are innumerable times during each and every day that things happen to us that, as the expression goes, get us all up in our feelings. As a culture, we seem capable of taking offense at everything. So, I got this bright idea to take responsibility for myself in the world and master the art of being over it. Why? Chiefly because it takes me out of the center of the universe and reminds me, in the gentlest way possible that everything that happens is not about me. It’s not directed at me; it is not necessarily intended for me, so perhaps I am better served by being intentional about things that matter. What we say or write matters far less than the way we live. What speaks volumes is the way we do (or don't) walk gently and with reverence in the world. That is what I have learned following Christ...to be kind, striving consistently to do my best.
So, when one of those things “likely to get me all up in my feelings” happened today, I was different. I have, by God’s Grace, changed my lens. Sure enough, I pulled on my big girl panties, but instead of something hideous and huge, ugly with worn elastic and at least one safety pin, through a different lens, I chose cute panties (a different path), with lace (a path that makes me feel beautiful), and I’m struttin’ in ‘em (walking confidently, beautifully, in my divine anointing).
A decidedly different perspective on Titus 2, but I don’t think it’s far off. Titus 2 encourages grown women to be reverent in the way we live and to teach good. It is my desire to operate in a way that lovingly honors God by treating myself the way I would treat Him. This is taking Imago Dei seriously. For a moment, consider this question….would you treat God the way you routinely treat yourself? If not, it is time to change your lens.
To be reverent…as life and time change us, we should seize the wisdom of our years and recognize that we still matter. We still make a difference. I embrace my experiences, the lessons they’ve taught me, and my obligation to tell the stories. What does teaching good look like? Modeling healthy, whole behavior-not martyrdom, not stepping aside or stepping back, except to make room for someone new to come alongside. I am old enough, but not old and certainly not useless. And by no means am I resigned to ugly granny drawers, neither realistically nor spiritually. I want to wear the anointing God laid upon me as a mantle like the rarest of gossamer cloth. It is beautiful, and I am beautiful in it. You are too…so let’s not just walk in our anointing, let us walk strong. Let us walk fierce, like the world is our runway. And mother…..you’d betta werk!