I caught myself slipping. These times are stressful and, I’ve found comfort, ease, and convenience in the warm embrace of yoga pants, sweats, and an occasional pair of leggings. I’m not proud of it, but such is life. Sometimes there is just too much to worry about without fussing with the insecurity and unpredictable nature of freshly washed jeans. So I haven’t. Perhaps, I haven’t for a little too long. Wanting to look and feel like a real girl, I grabbed a pair of my most comfortable fitting jeans and slipped them on. Maybe squeezed is a more appropriate adjective here. In any event, I was just fine until I got to the zipper and button part. Unbeknownst to me, tiny magical elves had snuck in, captured my pants, and artfully removed some of the fabric. It was a dastardly plan and ruthless execution.
Or, I had gotten fat.
Special Op elves make a much more interesting story. It just wasn’t true. A few too many carbs coupled with too little exercise had done the trick. So I sucked in, pulled up the zipper, and buttoned my jeans. I tucked my t-shirt into the top so the denim wouldn’t slice my torso in two and breathed a sigh of, “Oh wow, that’s tight!” It didn’t matter – I was NOT taking them off. I would wear those jeans as a reminder and an incentive to eat fewer carbs and exercise more. I got through 3/4 of the day before I had to take them off and slip into some sweats if I actually wanted to be able to get some housework done. Bending over to pick up things made my eyes nearly pop out of my head.
Now, I am on a mission. The jeans did the trick. I won’t buy new clothes so I have to fit back into the ones I have. It made me think about how important tight jeans are in our everyday lives. Whether it’s our faith, our diet, our family lives, friends, or job – it’s easy to fall into bad habits, become complacent, or just loosen up a little too much. How do we recognize when we’ve been slipping? What are the stopgap measures – the fail-safes we have in place to remind us of where we ought to be?
Sometimes those fail-safes are friends – good, honest friends who will tell you the truth even when it hurts. Other times, it’s a spouse, a parent, or a child who will remind us of our duties, responsibilities, and expectations. It could be a boss – a coworker, or even our own lists of goals. Who or what keeps us from slipping in our spiritual lives? Are we reading the bible? Are we spending time in prayer? Do we have Christian fellowship with individuals who will tell us the truth and keep us accountable?
It’s important, especially when the world is crazy and everything is out of sorts and sliding into uncharted territory, to make sure you have an anchor, a mooring to keep you from drifting too far from where you are and where you want to be. Don’t forget to test those lines, check your bearings, and try on those jeans. You don’t want to get caught slipping.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2 ESV