Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It Really Doesn't Matter

Sunday night Joshua asked me if I would buy some sunless tanning lotion for him when I went to the store Monday. His class was going to take a field trip to a local athletic center this week - mainly to go swimming - and Joshua was feeling embarrassed by his very white belly. He has a pretty nice tan going on his arms and neck, but his tummy is almost a shocking white, and he didn't want to display it for all the other fifth graders on the field trip.

Honestly, my first reaction to Joshua's request was an immediate, No.
*I didn't want to spend the money.
*There are probably weird chemicals in the lotion.
*I doubted how much of a difference it would even make in the two days he would have to use it before the field trip.

But those excuses were really just veils for the real reason I wanted to say no.

I thought a white tummy really didn't matter
To me, Joshua's concern and insecurity simply wasn't important. He should just get over it and not worry about whether his friends laughed, or not. I mean, c'mon, in ten years is he really going to care if he had a very white belly when he went swimming with his classmates?
The solution to the problem was quite simple to me.

Why waste time and energy on something that, in the grand scheme of things, really doesn't matter? Who would do that???

Uh, well, I did once.
OK, more than once. As a kid, you know!
Oh, and there was that time I did it as an, ahem, adult.
Yeah, I spent lots of time and energy being embarrassed and concerned and insecure about something that - in the grand scheme of things - really didn't matter.
I am referring to six years ago, when I had brain surgery and had all my hair shaved off my head.
Prior to that event, I had always had long hair. Loved to braid it and curl it and style it. When there were very special occasions I got to go to the salon and have a professional up-do. My hair was a part of me.
After my surgery I felt incredibly ugly and un-feminine, with the covering of stubble that was a sorry excuse for hair.
I had a wig which I wore to church. But I hated it. Other than that, I just wore a bandanna on my head and avoided going out as much as I could.
In my head, I knew this hair issue wasn't a big deal. I knew it really didn't matter. In the face of eternity, I knew long, flowing hair held no greater value than quarter-inch stubble.
Yes. I knew it all in my head.
But in my heart I was embarrassed and insecure. I felt ugly.
And one Sunday morning found me weeping about it at the feet of Jesus.

For the rest of the story, and an explanation of how my situation relates to Joshua's, come back tomorrow.

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Jessica said...

I love how you got down to the real reason you told him no. Very honest.
I'll be back to see what happens. :-)

Leah said...

Isn't it amazing what the Lord will use to remind us of our own attitudes and insecurities?

I use the self tanner all the time in the summer because I have had two melanomas removed so the suntanning thing via the natural route is out for me.

WORD OF WARNING: The self tanner will wash off in the pool and he will still have a white belly if he doesn't use it for several days ahead of time.

Have you ever heard Beth Moore tell about her self tanning/swimming pool experience? It is a scream


Anonymous said...

Yes, it will wash off in the pool!

Daveda said...

So true. I have found (and am still finding) that I really do at times need to be sensitive to what is important to a 10, 12, or 18yr old. LOL I love your honesty! See you tomorrow :)

Chatty Kelly said...

Bronzer washes off, self-tanner doesn't wash off, if you use it in advance (8 hrs).

I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.

Ronel Sidney said...

Can't wait until tomorrow.

Beth@Not a Bow in Sight said...

Bless your sweet heart! I will definitely come back to hear the rest...

luvmy4sons said...

You are such a compassionate mother always thinking of how it would be to be in their shoes!

My ADHD Me said...

I'm on my way to read part 2 now.