The Fashion of this World
If you’re a mother, than you may be familiar with the experience I am going to share–if you’re not, bear with me–you may be amused non-the-less, and in the end you’ll understand the connection I am making.
As an expectant mother, this physical transformation comes to you in the extreme and leaves many changes in its wake. This funny time warp takes place in the process and you assume that once your baby comes and your body and life start to settle into a new sort of “normal”, somehow you’re going to jump right back in to life where you left off before this little one came… Well, the reality is, that you were indeed not in a time warp at all and real time was ticking and going on–with or without your knowledge and attention. A reality that sort of makes me want to laugh and cry all at the same time.
I have experienced this reality in some funny ways recently. Right after my baby was born, I found I needed to “dress for survival”, but ultimately I have a love for clothing and fashion (I know many women can probably relate to this). So, as I have begun to have a little more physical space, time, and freedom, I found myself shopping for a few new items of clothing. I expected to work in to the equation new body changes, but I imagined maintaining certain styles I’ve come to love and feel comfortable in.
News Flash!! Styles and Fashions seem to have secretly changed behind my back while I was attending to the intensity of motherhood with an infant. I was at Target looking through racks (and noticing advertisements) and I thought to myself… “What….in…the….world!?” Now some people may love the current fashion trends, but I confess, I do not.
I actually ended up going to a thrift store and finding a bunch of really cute items that were like brand new, in the style that I like, and discarded, no doubt, by someone who was either just tired of them or who wanted to keep up with the latest trends.
I had this little dialogue in my mind (though I was very happy with the things I was able to purchase and am now wearing).
“I don’t want to wear these things that are currently out in the stores!”–much less spend money on them.
I want to just say, “Peace out! I’ll jump in again when this passes over!” ,
“But if I don’t join in, am I going to fit in with current society?”,
“Do I care?”, “Does it matter?” and so on.
I questioned if I have reached that life-stage where I am just out of touch with current styles and am going to become out of date, etc. And then I wondered why that thought would even really bother me.
I sort of laughed at it all, but something did bother me…
It felt deeper than just clothing. I felt frustrated with the design industry that constantly changes things and tries to influence everyone’s choices and perspectives…trying to shape what is viewed as attractive. Trying to shape what is acceptable, desirable, note-worthy… but what if I disagree? What if what the world thinks is attractive and acceptable is not really based on what is beautiful or lovely, or maybe even–dare I say it–what is modest? What if the message of what they think is to be desired is not tasteful? Or, in looking at the picture beyond just fashion, what what the world says is OK is actually not honorable–is not holy?
I, like many of us, often feel this pressure to fit into the fashions of this world.
There is a great pressure to say “yes” to anything this world “puts on the rack” so to speak. I realized how much I feel the pull to those things even when I don’t want to. It’s a battle to say no sometimes. Now, my example of clothing is not so earth-shattering and maybe a little bit silly, but it reminded me that even in the seemingly “small things”– fashion, music,art, technology, popular topics of discussion, etc. we need to be aware and alert and ready to make our decisions based on what we believe and what we know through Scripture to be good, beautiful, and true. When need be, we need to be OK with a decision that may put us outside of what the world says is “trending”.
No decision is too small to make up our own mind about vs. being persuaded by the world. No decision is too small to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I believe it may become more and more important to be bold enough to stand apart from the world in how we look, speak, and act.
Being choosy about what I am going to wear became merely symbolic as I thought about this bigger reality. This verse came to my mind:
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The Lord be with you as you navigate as strangers in this world. Take heart, dear Christian. Look and Listen and choose with the Light of Christ as your only guide.
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