Ironic and kind of an awkward statement, I know. But let me explain...
This reference is in regards to that child that we have all seen before and have possibly even been ourselves. It is in reference to that child whom has fallen victim to being overdressed for a mere two inch Southern snow storm. You know, the one who comes out to play but due to all the clothes can barely participate. Think back, the one who tries to run and catch up with the other kids but can't because of the bulk. Or maybe they actually can "waddle run" but due to the ear muffed, two beanie, ski goggle combination they can see nothing. This is the child who in everyday clothes weighs 60lbs, but during snow storm days becomes the snow angel guru because they have multiplied 2 or even 3 times in size. This child takes the worst snow ball beating in history, has the most epic sled crash, and falls head over heels down the steep ice covered blacktop street, walking away uninjured because of the mass of winter clothing armor!
In our modern day American Christian culture, I am afraid many of us have become like the child described above. Not all the time of course. But, a lot of the time. I am dissatisfied and disappointed in myself as I can testify to being like this child. I confess that my preparation and my participation are not always equally yoked. My preparation many days wins out, like the child. Engulfed in disability, instead of exercising His given ability within me.
We live in a generation which has access to more preparatory resources than ever before. We listen to podcasts, get the newest worship songs on itunes and watch the newest inspiring videos on youtube. We read the newest trendiest "Radical" or "Crazy Love" book. We go to all night bible studies, weekly bible studies, and even online bible studies. We get tweets and facebook status updates from all of the "spiritual giants" in our culture today. We are in a small group, we have been on mission trips, we actually tithe every pay check....BUT....
Now don't get me wrong. I am a firm believer that preparedness leads to effectiveness. And that unpreparedness leads to being ineffective. However, the line that separate the two is a fine one. And it is one I am confident that we must pay closer attention to.
Are we overdressed in preparation? Are we underdressed in participation?
Bottom line, cut to the chase, be encouraged! Be encouraged, that we will never be prepared, be encouraged that we will never be able, and be encouraged that we will never fully participate on our own in anything productive for the Kingdom! YES, I said BE ENCOURAGED, because...
Jesus in us is and always will be "dressed" perfectly!
"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ IN you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27
Take off the bulk.
Peel back the layers of performance.
Cut back on the prep time.
Get in the Word.
Live as a PARTICIPANT!