Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Don't Be a 'Dette'

I grew up in Texas….Dallas to be exact….and just like the other two states I have lived in….Texas has a culture of its own!!  Also, while Tennessee and Indiana have four distinct seasons….spring, summer, fall and winter, Texas has one—Football season!!  Oh how we love football in Texas!  High school football.  College football.  Professional football.  All.Of.It!!

Actually, I thought everyone everywhere ‘did’ football like Texans do….it was not until we moved to Tennessee that I realized not everyone wore homecoming mums that would literally cover the entire left side of a teenage girl’s body.  In Tennessee…the size of a homecoming mum was the size of the guy’s mum in Texas!  Yep!  You heard it right….guys wore mums too!!  (Hummm…I see that I am using past tense as I refer to theses rites of passages….I guess they are still doing it this way but it’s been a few years since I lived in Texas). 

Honestly, football season is not always about the football game as much as it is about all of the other various and sundry (I would say 'asundry' but apparently, according to my spell check, that is not a word) things that go along with it.  For me….it was the drill team.  Ahhh…the memories I have of the drill team!!  I wanted to be on the drill team for as long as I could remember!  Tryouts were brutal.  The head of the Kilgore Rangerettes, along with several of her officers were our judges.  (For you poor souls who never lived in Texas and have no idea who the Kilgore Rangerettes are....they are akin to the Radio City Rockettes.  Big.Time.  Really.Big.Time). 

The first year I tried out I didn’t make it….and I was crushed.  Heartbroken.  Every one of my friends made it but me.  Devastating.  However, the second year I made it!!  I was elated!  I made a bee line (you know, it's funny actually writing things like 'bee line' .... I say that all of the time, but is it really spelled like that?  Or am I just saying it like that?  Is 'bee line' really a thing?  Do you know what I am talking about when I say 'bee line'?  It means I went right away....I'm going to try to get back on track now...) to the local jewelry store first thing and bought the coveted silver boot that every Highlandette wore on a chain around her neck.  I was in!!  I had arrived!!  I had made it!!  Now I could look like everyone else.  Be like everyone else. 

We were a precision dance and marching team and when we were ‘performing’ we all looked alike…we dressed alike.  We had to have our hair alike.  We moved in absolute precision.  In fact.  That was our goal….for the 50 or more of us...to move as one.  Look like one.  Again….picture the Rockettes.  Legs kicked over our heads at the same time…toes pointed, heads turned, smiles on.  Perfect unison.  No one person sticking out.

Sometimes I wonder if we have become Pastorettes…thinking we have to look alike, dress alike, move like the other ministry wives we know.  Maybe it has even creeped in to the church and we have become Christianettes....where maybe we often think unity is where everyone is supposed to wear ties or jeans or shorts depending on the ‘culture’ of your church.  Where everyone is supposed to love organs and hymns or guitars and screens.  Where everyone has the same passions in ministry.

I really do believe that we know that diversity in church is important and that is the way God intended it.  Where we are all to be who He created us to be and reflect Him uniquely.  But I also think it is easy to fall in to the ‘dette’ trap where we feel like maybe, just maybe I stick out and I'm not suppose to....or I don't want to.  The trap where we don't want to feel different.  That I am not just like everyone else.  That I am the one who can’t kick as high or whose hat is not tilted at just the right angle.  It is OK!!  Be courageous enough to be different.  Be the one who stands out...not so you can be seen but so that Jesus can be seen.  Don't be conformed to this world....but also don't be afraid to not conform to the church culture either if it means loosing who He made you do be.

One day, as Christ followers, we will all wear the same thing (robes of righteousness) and do the same thing (worship), but until then….be uniquely you!  YOU-niquely You!!  I think I might just be really bold and wear white after Labor Day!!

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