Years ago, when my bumbling Bernese Mountain dog was just a puppy, I bought her a costume for Halloween. Now I usually don’t buy clothes for my pet, but this costume was just too irresistible to pass up. It was a rooster costume. As soon as I saw it I thought, “How cute would it be to dress the dog up as a rooster and then sit her in front of my chicken coop and take a picture?” (Back then I lived in a rural area and I did try my hand at raising chickens.)
You probably know where this is going. I wrestled with her trying to at least get the rooster hat on her head. She would have no part of this scheme.
As I sat there on the floor defeated, I got to thinking as to how many times we try to be something we aren’t. I thought about how many people are unhappy with their lives all because they don’t like who they are or what they have or how they look. I thought about how so many would jump at the chance to put on a different persona if given the opportunity. And, just as my puppy wrestled with me over the costume, I wonder how many people wrestled with themselves each and every day with cumbersome costumes to mask low self-esteem.
Before I became a minister I was an editor for fashion trade publications and I can remember early on in my career sitting front row at a New York City fashion show with a colleague of mine. As the models strutted down the runway, my colleague leaned over to me and said, “Don’t you wish we looked liked them? I would kill to be that thin.” I nodded my head in agreement but inside I thought how sad that comment was for sitting next to me was a beautiful, talented, incredible woman. She just couldn’t see all of that in herself.
God created each one of us to be unique. God blessed each one of us with a special gift and a special purpose in life. Trying to be something we aren’t is not what God had in mind and it is not the path to peace and fulfillment.
What costumes are you wrestling with today? May this be the day the world sees the person God intended you to be—beautiful and blessed and ready to be a blessing to all.
The Reverend Donna Frischknecht Jackson is back serving in a rural area, having just moved out of Hudson River Presbytery to serve West Nottingham Presbyterian Church in Colora, MD. She has no intention of even looking at Halloween costumes for her Bernese Mountain dog. Her dog—and husband—are very happy about that!