The problem is that my wife and everyone I know seems to love them – dress up parties. Whenever an invitation comes in the mail I watch my wife as she opens it. If her face lights up I know I am in trouble and a trip to the costume shop is inevitable.
I have come to the realisation that I am the kind of person who prefers not to be in the spotlight. Getting dressed in a costume and then having everyone look at me and laugh is not high up there on my list of things I love to do.
Even in my role as Principal I can’t avoid the dress up events at school. Book Week, mufti-days, Exo-Days, etc, I just can’t avoid them and I feel the obligation to participate. I know everyone is looking, possibly judging me, and embedding those images of me in their memory to laugh at later on. I was proved right recently as I visited the bank and the bank teller said to me, “I know you. You’re the Green Crayon from my grandson’s Book Week Parade!” Obviously, I left quite an impression.
The clothes we wear can actually have quite an impact. They can determine how we will act and how others will act around us. Think about a uniformed police officer standing in the middle of a busy intersection directing traffic. Cars will stop or go on his command or at the slight movement of his hand. If that same police officer was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt onlookers would probably think it was a crazy man waving his hands causing all sorts of problems on the road.
When I put on one of those silly costumes I feel a little strange initially, but if I am being honest, I often warm up to it, and I find myself acting and behaving like the character I am dressed as. Whether that is a crayon, a Mexican, a member of Abba, a fitness instructor or the grumpy dwarf from Snow White, I try to become that character and the way I am dressed actually changes the way I behave.
When we become Christians God gives us some clothes to wear. Isaiah 61:10 says that, “He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride in her jewels.” Although we cannot see these garments, as Christians, we should know that we have them on and should live our lives accordingly. Imagine going about your day every day knowing that your salvation is secure and that you are righteous through the grace of God. Imagine the confidence you would exhibit knowing who you are, knowing that you are loved, knowing that you are valuable and there is nothing anybody else can say that will ever change that.
Too many young people in our society struggle with their identity and go through phases in their lives trying to figure out who they are. At Cedars, we want our students to understand this scripture and to live their lives with the confidence of wearing those garments everywhere they go.
As you have a laugh at some of the ridiculous costumes I have worn over the years, let me ask you a question: “Are you accepting the garments that God has dressed you in or do you strive to impress others with the way you look or act?” I pray that it is the former and that as people watch you over the course of your life they can see that you have walked with the garments of salvation and righteousness and because of the blessing you have received, you have been a blessing to others.