Many of you know I have girls. My girls laugh hard and cry hard! They love pretty things and all that glitters. I adore it. Yesterday we were driving around looking for some new furniture for the kids (can I say SPRING CLEANING!!!) and Julia asked me if I would like to wear her "beautiful" pink ring. I said sure and let her slip it on my finger as we headed into the store. I didn't really pay much attention to it until we were driving to the next store. As my hand turned the steering wheel it's lovely silver designs caught my eye and the pink was the perfect color against the silver. It really is a pretty ring! The SIZE of this thing is ridiculous! It's something you'd see on some Hollywood movie star. I had the funniest thought, "Wow, that makes my ring look pretty puny." WHAT!!! That's really not funny! Here is why:
My husband bought my ring for me as a complete surprise. He and his entire family picked it out and he would let no one else try it on until it was on my hand. I let my sister-in-law try it on when he wasn't looking! It's the perfect size for me. He is a P.E. teacher and did not have time (or money) to save. It was purchased out of God honoring love and a desire to have me on his arm (and nerves) for the rest of his natural life. It's real. It's mine. It's a symbol of the commitment of two folks to one another and God himself. It's NOT puny. Let's talk about ring #2...
It was purchased by my sister for Julia. It was $2.00. It is not real. It is too big. It was purchased for fun. It will be lost and found 400 times until the girls no longer care for it. It is disposable.
Hmmmm. Which is better? Mine of course! I did share this with my husband as soon as it hit me. I told him how ridiculous it was to even compare the two. One was fake and the other real. WHY WOULD I EVEN COMPARE??? Silly, I know, but I did it. I do it all the time. I did it last week when I was blog-surfing and found several ladies with a fancy blog with buttons and links and all sorts of fancy stuff. I have to call Kelli whenever I want to do anything "new and exciting" like add a picture! I'm not fancy. I'm just Ali. I just want to write, I don't want to design or maintain. Is that bad? Nope. It's not. It's silly is what it is. But, what about the deeper issues of comparison. When you see the outside of a marriage or a family and wish yours was like theirs. Careful, careful! What about yours? What about the real thing you are looking at? Everyone has a pretty face. We air our dirty laundry, sure, but if you think you know all my secrets you've got another thing coming! We all need Jesus. We all have fallen short of the glory of God. We ALL like sheep have wandered away. None of us are righteous. No. Not. One.
I continue to learn that as I compare I condemn. I condemn those who don't measure up to me and then I condemn myself for not measuring up to others. I don't want the pink ring. I want what I have. I want real, honest, and sincere. I think we all do. So, where it might be fun to wear the ring. I'll never take mine off for fear I'll lose it, or myself. God help me to keep my eyes on you. My standard is Christ and His death and resurrection is the only thing that keeps me from absolute destruction. I praise you for reminding me in "Ali ways" that comparison belittles that which is real and priceless.