So, my (hopefully reformed) Baby-Jesus-napper/manger-repossesser friend, J, calls me up this week: "Hey, I need to borrow your kitchen for a commercial we're shooting." (J works at one of the local TV stations.) Next thing I know, I'm the "mom" in the commercial, borrowing two little friends, C and E, to be my cute children running through the kitchen.
Turns out, this commercial is scheduled to air here in Knoxville during the Super Bowl!
Well, at first I'm actually excited. J and the rest of the TV crew arrive and start setting up all these cool lights and cameras. My "kids" arrive and are SO excited. Even my dog, Hallie, seems excited.
Then, it hit me: "I DON'T KNOW HOW to ACT"--not even for a 30-second commercial that requires very little "ACTING." (Thank goodness I didn't have to speak.) Embarrasingly, just walking from my fridge to my kitchen counter required more "takes" than I'm willing to discuss.
Thankfully, the TV crew was great--patient and encouraging. The kids were great! Even Hallie was great--with the help of a few pieces of cheese.
After the crew packed up all their "lights, camera, action," I stood at my kitchen counter, munching on the "props" and found myself wondering, "At what point in our lives do we become so self-conscious? At what point do we let the fear of looking stupid...or 10 pounds heavier on TV...or older...keep us from simply "catching" the surprising (even sometimes exciting) curve balls that life (aided by my friend, J) sometimes throws us?"
My little friends, C and E, simply enjoyed the moment.
So, I've resolved to enjoy "catching" this particular curve ball. (After all, I've already gotten to share my newest FAVORITE MAGAZINE EVER, "Garden & Gun," with one of the crew AND found out he has pet goats--how cool is that?)
I've even resolved not to beat myself up too much when the commercial airs. (Who wants to hold me accountable to THAT resolution?)
My friend, Marla, often reminds me: "Karen, when you stand before Jesus, He's not going to ask you, 'Why weren't you Marla?' He's going to ask you, 'Why weren't you fully Karen, the Karen I created you to be?"
On my honest days, I'm willing to confess the answer to that question--in spite of all the ways Jesus has proven to me that He can be trusted, I often don't trust. I let my fear and pride--actually, the fear of having my pride wounded--smother my faith.
But, this year I've resolved to trust Him more and not be so fearful of being "fully Karen."
So, when I see the commercial (probably looking through my fingers just like I would at any other scary movie), even if I look 10 pounds heavier...or detect an errant chin hair...or notice just how baggy my eyes have gotten, I'm gonna try to be OK about it--to be fully me--and just enjoy catching that crazy little curve ball.
Watching "my" wonderful children yesterday as they simply enjoyed their TV moment reminded me of how we are called to "catch" everything that comes our way in this upside-down Kingdom:
"The disciples came to Jesus asking, 'Who gets the highest rank in God's kingdom?' For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, 'I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you repent (return to square one and start over like children), you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental [trusting, loving, forgiving, free of pride] again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. ' (Matthew 18:1-4, The Message)