Amazing how the years gone by appear like layers of garments. Yes, regrets and reminiscences may well have fashioned our existence. The many experiences have helped style our being, with some events coming in the shape of a pair of overalls. These have dressed us up in readiness for the rough, physical patch in life and in them we scaled the mountains. However, they were so uncomfortable that at the end of the day, we’d gladly take them off. Others events were scented like perfume from Yves Saint Laurent, taking us to the top of the world and imparting a fragrance of freshness and life round about us.
Whatever the experience, only we could make the choice either to keep the clothes on or indeed rid ourselves of them once they had done the job. None of us would ever achieve anything worth a second glance without this cocktail of experiences. Yet we still reserve the right to come out like gold or be blown away like chaff. Will we choose to be identified by the clothes we wear and like them, equally wear out with the years?
Moses, the friend of God, prayed in this way as he laid his heart bare before His Maker in Psalm 90: 1, 2, 12, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born, or ever you formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You sweep men away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning; in the evening it fades and withers.” At the end of the prayer, Moses asks the Lord, almost desperately, “Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The big question remains; what does it actually mean to number our days aright? The Apostle Paul makes it more plain in Ephesians 5:15 – 20 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. But be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks for everything to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Gaining a heart of wisdom also succinctly means we actively remember that just as there was a day of birth, there will undoubtedly be a day of death. For it is appointed for man once to die and after that face judgement. To die is not to escape from our unwise or outrightly foolish decisions! Rather, to die is to take off one garment and put on a different kind. Is this exchange of garments within our power? It is as much within our power as it is within the control of flowers not to be picked or indeed grass not to be slashed or burnt.
Again, nature teaches us invaluable lessons on life and living. Our lives are likened to flowers of the field and like the ordinary grass, which are here today and gone tomorrow. But the deceitfulness of life, with its dazzling lights, makes us believe we shall definitely see the next day. If we really learnt how to number our days aright, we would then be slow to speak, slow to become angry and instead be quick to listen. Experience can only come through experiences. We need to learn to look beyond the vessel, the vehicle through which that experience comes. Experiences, like pieces of garment, are nothing in themselves; they only take on character through us. Sometimes,it is not so much the clothes but how we wear them. It therefore, matters how we wear our experiences.
Look at the fashion ranges that have brought change to the designer world… Yves Saint Laurent, Yves Rocher, Gucci, Pierre Cardin, Ellen FIscher… the list is endless. How beautiful to bring a change of scene by the clothes we wear, the grace with which we carry ourselves. How refreshing to lighten the atmosphere by the fragrance that goes before us, our choice of conversation and company. As someone rightly said, “Don’t be deceived. What you wear does matter. No man, or woman for that matter, ever achieved anything worth talking about… whilst naked!”
Go ahead and achieve your fullest potential because YOU ARE SOMEONE!