Monday, August 24, 2009

I LOVE a parade!

I got tickled reviewing my memory verse for the end of August...

"But thanks be to God,
who always leads us
in triumphal procession in Christ
and through us spreads everywhere
the fragrance of the knowledge of him."
2 Cor. 2:14

What had me laughing is the fact that I originally chose the verse because I was drawn to the idea of emanating the "fragrance of knowing Him." I still love that challenge. But somehow I kind of skimmed over the whole part about God leading us in "triumphal procession in Christ." How could I have ignored that?

I have always been a huge fan of parades - particularly when I get to be part of the "triumphal procession." Those who know me will not be surprised by this. Some of my fondest childhood memories involved our annual participation in Baton Rouge's downtown Christmas parade. My dad was an active Jaycee, the men's group that sponsored the parade, so we were always drafted to ride floats. (Me? The center of attention in a costume on a float riding before hundreds of people? Oh, twist my arm!)

Mom usually made costumes to coordinate with the theme of the float we were riding. One year we were dressed as ice skaters in little felt skirts on a float with a frozen "pond" and (inexplicably) a huge bell. It was freezing and rainy that night, so instead of gliding on the pretend icy pond in our cute skirts, we huddled for warmth beneath the bell - a good plan until a huge gust of wind blew the bell and showered us in icy cold water.

But my favorite parade was the year my dad was president of the Jaycees. He got to ride in a shiny convertible and his family accompanied him. I think my brother and sister thought it was boring, but I was thrilled! Mom made us girls matching capes - faux camel hair lined in faux leopard (like I have to specify "faux" anything!) I arranged mine just so, with the front folded back a touch so the leopard lining was showing. I'm pretty sure gloves were part of the ensemble, and we perched on the back of that navy blue convertible and I waved regally as though everyone was there to see me.

I was raised with no shortage of love and praise. Yet, I seemed to have an insatiable appetite for attention and admiration. Maybe I was just a dreamy little girl who longed to be a princess, or beauty queen or famous. As much as it hurts to admit it, I've spent much of my adult life in a struggle with that desire for fame and admiration - I just learned to cloak it beneath something more substantial than a faux fur cape.

In the past few years, God has been gently prodding me in this area - revealing that weakness of pride and giving me a growing distaste for anything false or pretentious in my own heart and mind. It hasn't always been pleasant, but it's been a necessary part of my journey toward Christlikeness - and Christ-centeredness. A few years ago, Isaiah 26:8 became my theme:

"Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts."

When HIS name, HIS fame become our desire, then HE will lead us in triumphal procession in Christ - so we can spread HIS fragrance. Now, that's a parade I want to be part of.


Bec said...

this is good. I totally missed that part, too. You are such a princess, Mrs. Leslie. :) I love you!

kelsey said...

i love this..
i am still smiling hard over it..
and today, i believe i will go make a parade for Jesus..