Yesterday I spoke at a work-related event. It was risky, but I opened with a joke someone shared with me years ago. Risky because I’m not the best joke teller and because of the audience. But I told it anyway. It went like this:
It seems that a man, known to be a cheapskate, had gone to the tailor to have a suit made, but when the suit was finished and he went to try it on, it didn’t fit him at all.
He was greatly disappointed and complained to the tailor. It was a horrible fit. The jacket was too big in back, the right arm was too long, one pant leg was too short and three buttons were missing!
“No problem,” said the tailor, ” this is an easy fix – just hunch your back, bend your arm, walk with a limp, and stick your fingers through the button holes and you’ll look just fine! Nobody will ever notice.”
So the man, still upset but not wanting to upset the tailor, contorted his body to fit the suit and, even though he felt that he had been duped by the tailor, he left. He had not walked one block when he was approached by a stranger.
“Who made that amazing suit for you?” asked the stranger. “I’m in the market for a new suit myself.”
Surprised, actually shocked, but pleased at the compliment, the man directed the stranger to the tailor’s shop.
“Well, thanks very much,” said the stranger, hurrying off. “I do believe I’ll go to that tailor for my suit. He must be an absolute genius if he made a suit to fit you.”
Isn’t it astonishing how we will wear something that we KNOW does not fit? There are many a corned toe that will attest to this. It’s also probably why SPANX and Lipo-in-a-Box are multi-million dollar companies, and everyone else has sought to make knock-off versions of their products which make claims to “transform” your body, help you fit in a size smaller garment and look pounds thinner.
All day long we (especially us women) walk around trying to “fit” into something that simply does not “fit” us. Remember Cinderella – all those women trying to fit a Size 10-looking foot into about a Size 5 slipper?
We try to “fit” into social groups.
We try to “fit” into workplace cliques.
We try to “fit” into love relationships.
We try to “fit” into careers.
We try to “fit” into age groups and mindsets and lifestyles.
We try to “fit” where we simply do not belong and have no place being.
Author and TED Talk speaker, Brene Brown, says, “Fitting in, I’ve discovered during the past decade of research, is assessing situations and groups of people, then twisting yourself into a human pretzel in order to get them to let you hang out with them.”
A human pretzel. Corns. Pinching. Ouch! Don’t we realize how painful it is trying to “fit?”
Brown goes on to say, “Many of us suffer from this split between who we are and who we present to the world in order to be accepted, but we’re not letting ourselves be known, and this kind of incongruent living is soul-sucking.”
I think the split is not just between who we are and who we present to the world but rather between who we are, who we present and who our Father has designed and called us to be. God has called us collectively as His people and He has called us individually to specific roles and responsibilities. Trying to “fit” into roles contrary to His calling is like slapping God in the face and telling Him that He doesn’t know what He is doing. Now, there’s an ouch for you!
Examples of how He has called us as His people are found throughout the Scriptures:
- Matthew 11:28 We are called from labor to rest.
- Matthew 5:14, 1Peter 2:9 We are called out of darkness into light.
- 1 John 3:14 We are called from death to life.
- 1 Corinthians 7:15 We are called out of turmoil into peace.
- 1 Corinthians 1:9 We are called from loneliness into the fellowship of Christ.
- Galatians 5:13 We are called from bondage to liberty.
God also extends to us a personal invitation to a unique and special task He planned just for us as individuals. Seek to know, understand and “fit” that plan. How? First, you must have a personal relationship with His son, Jesus Christ. (Click the tab SALVATION at the top of this page if you don’t have or don’t know how to have a relationship with Jesus.) If you already have a relationship with Christ, then seek to know His plan by praying, reading His word, meditating, seeking Godly counsel and, listening.
One size fits all is a lie about pantyhose and about most other things in life including God’s calling. He has a plan just for you, and when you walk in the way that He has called, you will find it to be a perfect fit – no corns and no pinching!