In 3rd or 4th grade, we had physicals at school. I'd heard that the nurse would do a spinal check to check for Scoliosis, which meant shirts had to come off for a few minutes. And I'd also heard that all the cool girls wore bras to the exam. So, I did what any other elementary school girl who had not hit puberty yet would do, I asked for a bra anyway. Because of the coolness factor.
My granny came to spend that Christmas with us. She was a Southern woman through and through...spunky and witty with a little bit of naughty. When I got my first bra, she taught me how to put it on. Her instructions were to place the hook in the front so you could get it snapped, scoot it on around the right way, pull the straps on and then bend over and "shake 'em in there real good." We have a great photo of my first lesson in womanhood as she and I are doubled over in laughter. Well, I'm doubled over in trying to shake something non-existent in there and she is having a hoot.
Last week, I was in the locker room at Lifetime and I realized something. Twenty-two or so years later and I am still putting on my bra the same way Granny taught me. Except for the bend over and shake 'em in there real good" part. That was never a necessity for me.
Putting on a bra is part of my daily routine. However, it was only when I was dressing in front of strangers that I suddenly realized that I have been doing it this way for all these years and I have little skill in doing it the way the cool girls in the locker room can do it. I cannot, for the life of me, get the hook connected behind my back! At least not all snappy like they can. It is quite awkward for me.
Anyway, it dawned on me that I have spent a good two thirds of my life doing it this way and yet I never paid much attention to it. It was just how I did things.
Which leads me to Easter.
How is that for a segue?
I've gone to church all my life. For well over two thirds of my life, I've known the Easter story. Except, for a good part of that time, a lot of my worship revolved around the Easter bunny. Yes, I knew what happened in the garden. Yes, I knew that Jesus was severely beaten before He was even nailed to the cross. Yes, I knew that He rose again three days later and left an empty tomb behind. BUT, that Easter basket did come with some pretty sweet treats. And, when you hear the same story over and over, you can begin to lose the fresh outlook and the passion for what really happened.
In my adult life, things have changed. There's no Easter basket waiting for me in the morning and I now realize that Easter represents the greatest event in all of history. Despite knowing this, how do you make something new when you've heard the same story and read the same verses every spring for the majority of your life?
Not to mention, does anyone else feel like life NEVER slows down? Does anyone else collapse into bed each night and peel herself off the mattress in the morning? Truly, do any of us feel like we've just got a bunch of time on our hands to sit and ponder Easter? Time without kids underfoot? Time without appointments, soccer games, piano lessons, etc. to rush to? Can I get an "Amen" when I say that, in the few times I have completely to myself, I leave the radio and t.v. off just to HEAR THE QUIET?!
How does a heart prepare for a new experience? How does a heart see Easter in a new light?
Francis Chan tells a story about how one worship leader always fascinated him. Her worship appeared so fresh and so full of passion each week. He wondered how she was able to worship like that every week, doing something so routine and, yet, making it new. So, Francis asked and her answer was simple. She said that when she has a really powerful time with the Lord one week, she never spends the next week asking God to give her what she experienced the previous week. Instead, she tells Him, "God, You are a creator. Would You create something new in my worship experience? Would You give me a whole new perspective of You when I worship?"
Wow, that is powerful. If I can acknowledge God's creativity in how He has given us in this gorgeous spring day (and, oh, boy, isn't He so creative with His sunshine, comfortable temps and blooming trees?!), why do I not also acknowledge His ability to create something new in how I see Him?
This week, I'm keeping it simple. I am going to ask God to give me fresh perspective. I long to see the power behind what Jesus did on the cross. This week, I will not think of or approach Easter the way I've done in years past, just because I've always done it this way.
Lord, You are my Creator. Create in me fresh eyes and ears. Wipe my heart clean of how I've worshipped during Easter in the past and let me see the love and the passion it took for You to send your Son to the cross. May it shake me and move me, Lord. Amen.