So, picture this. It’s 1970 and I am 13 years old. Praying to Jesus, the Almighty, for a pair of white Go-Go boots for Christmas. Oooooh, baby. If I had those white Go-Go boots, I said to my Maker, I would fit right in to the cool girls group. Or, if they wouldn’t have me, they would certainly be seething with an ungodly jealousy. I tried to convince my mother that those fabulous boots would be so-o-o-o practical. White goes with everything and the faux patient leather wipes up real good. The only thing on my list.
A week or so before Christmas, I sneak into my parents bedroom to look under the bed where the presents are stashed. I spy a box that could be those coveted boots. Oh so carefully, I unwrap the paper and there they are. Beautiful and perfect. White, shiny faux leather Go-Go boots…I ripped them out of the box, put them on and climbed up on the bed so that I could see my feet in the dresser mirror.
Ooooh, baby. I heard Sly and the Family Stone ringing in my head.
Since I think I’m being pretty slick, I re-wrap the box and put it pretty much back where it came from. I thought…but who can think clearly at a moment like this? I mean, really. It’s just too much to expect.
Christmas morning comes and I practice my surprised, oh so grateful look…and no Go-Go boots. The box is just not there. My mother watches as I look under the tree skirt, just in case I didn’t see it, but it wasn’t there. “You shouldn’t have opened that box.”, she said. “That’s what you get for peeking.”
The following week, we had our New Years celebration with family and I saw those beautiful boots once again. My cousin, Sarah was delighted with her present from my parents. We were the same age, so as Sarah and I sat together, I had to tell her just how groovy her boots were. At that moment, somewhere in my heart, I began to believe something about peeking and all of that excitement that comes with the anticipation of something fabulous.
Like most people, at the beginning of every new year I find myself not only looking back at the year that has passed, but at the year ahead. I have to say that 2013 has been a doosey in ways that have challenged me in places I never knew existed. I’m not sure why those Go-Go boots came to mind, but I do know that God sometimes works that way. As I settled into what my heart was feeling in looking ahead, I recognized my hesitation in anticipating good things. No peeking feels so much more safe. It keeps my heart tidy and neat and the wrapping paper in its place.
That kind of tidy goes against the words that Jesus gave me in Psalm 27:13. This passage has steadily worked against all of what might keep me small, as I realize that He knows what really makes me tick. Jesus knows what living is and it has much to do with peeking: “But I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” That word “living” has provoked much chaos in my heart. What would it be to really live trusting that Jesus has good set aside for me. What would it feel like to anticipate the goodness of the Lord and fully be in the land of the living. Not just existing within the beliefs that were created from hearts that were hardened and dead.
Despair is a big word to use in this passage and yet that picture of hopelessness is very clear and so powerful. I can’t move forward into a year that is filled with promise without hope, without risking the goodness of the Lord. I can’t anticipate good without risking a peek.
A year or so ago, I got this crazy idea to get a tattoo. I mean, really…I’m a 55 year old grandma, but once I had the idea it was full speed ahead and off I went, taking my friends with me for a little moral support. The word I wanted to permanently mark on the flesh of my arm was never a question…the Hebrew symbol that represents ‘to live”.
It was what I drew to surround that symbol that surprised me then and continues to surprise me now…but that’s another story.
For today, to live means getting on my knees and pulling that box out from under the bed in anticipation of something very good. What’s inside might not come easy or without a fight, but I want to trust that it will be a picture of the goodness of the Lord for me. Not just existing, but living.
I want to tear that wrapping off, rip open the box and put on those Go-Go boots without reservation. I may be out of style, but I might just be a force to be reckoned with.
Kris Jakubaitis believes our stories are how we hear the voice of God. She loves everything that is fiber and color…quilting with bright beautiful fabrics is how she continues to surround herself with what she knows to be her….a bit crazy and surprising with no need to match. She has 2 sons, 1 perfect grandson and a granddaughter in the making (in need more tutu’s)! God has shown Kris that He loves her wild and quirky kind of beauty, and she finds it an honor to be in a place where she can show others the same. She has a special place in her heart for orange ribbons.