Interesting, isn’t it, how many of us are afraid of our bathing suits?
And then there are our jeans, our noses, our dress sizes, our cooking skills, our choices about what diapers to put on our kids, whether we will make our own baby food, our kids’ behavior, our houses, our husbands, and the state of our yards.
The list of things we could get our knickers in a knot about when comparing them to someone else’s is endless. And unoriginal. Mother Eve herself fell prey to this insatiable desire to have what someone else has, to know what someone else knows; in short, to not feel like she was missing out.
The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” Genesis 3: 4-5.
Dissatisfied with the everything God had given her, she ate the lie that there was something she was missing. Something that could complete her contentment.
Some other glittery, shiny, better something.
When we were kids, my dad had this unusual television watching habit that he encouraged in us. Occasionally, when a program cut to a commercial break, he’d lead all three his kids in a chorus of yelling at the TV as loudly as possible, “LIES!”
It was a riot.
Commercial break and all out cacophony on our end as we laughed and yelled and hooted and hollered at all the something else’s on parade, “Lies, lies, lies!”
It made me laugh to remember. Until I put on my bathing suit this weekend.
Until I catch myself checking out the other mama’s car at a traffic light. Until I compare the weeds in our back yard with the manicured lawns on either side. Until I hear who cloth diapered, made organic baby food, and home schooled their kid.
And suddenly I’m face to face with my something. And I hear the whisper that I need to be just like that.
You will never really enjoy other people, you will never have stable emotions, you will never lead a life of godly contentment, you will never conquer jealousy and love others as you should until you thank God for making you the way He did.
~ James Hufstetler “On Knowing Oneself.”
Which is why I’m starting with the swim suit. And all it represents.
Where would you start?
Edited to add: the above quote is from a book I would highly recommend and am currently reading for the first time myself, “Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment” by Linda Dillow.