Please stop knitting or why I’m insecure.
It’s fun to write fluffy little chapters about how God made us and we’re his children and we’re his craftsmanship. Imagining myself as God’s work of art is an easy thing to do, but I suck at living out that concept as demonstrated by my wife and her knitting bag a few weeks ago.
We attend North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. It’s a megachurch full of the most attractive people you’ve ever seen in your life. Seriously, I haven’t verified this with any of my friends that work there but I’m fairly confident they keep ugly people away with some sort of force field. Or they have their own service. I’m not sure, the point is that everyone there is cool. They all have coffee with impossibly long names and really interesting graphic t-shirts, those kind that look like tattoos but upon closer inspection are just art dancing across fabric that makes your grey t-shirt feel well grey.
I know in my heart of heart that I want to impress these people. I know that when it comes to Sunday morning I consciously think, how can I look cool this morning? I know God isn’t concerned with that. He probably laughs that I have “church jeans” and “hang around the house jeans” but there it is. I’m insecure and I was reminded of that recently.
My wife and I were just lightly chatting before church started. Suddenly she pulled out some yarn and needles from her purse and began to knit. I was horrified. I knew that we had maybe seven seconds before the cool people around us saw what she was doing and asked us to attend the 2:30 Ugly Person Church Service.
“What are you doing? Put that away.” I said in a hushed whisper.
“What? I’m just knitting? What’s the big deal?” My wife said, clearly startled at my shallowness.
The big deal was that I think knitting is for almost dead people. People that kind of smell like moth balls and don’t know how to get online but if they did they’d call it “visiting the World Wide InterWeb.” Knitting is for old people. I might as well be whittling a pipe out of a corn husk next to her or churning fresh butter.
But I couldn’t say that because my wife had exposed something. In that moment I cared more about my image in front of strangers than I cared about my wife doing something she enjoyed doing. I put her thoughts and feelings far below the random people that in a sea of 10,000 attendees I would probably never see again. And I put my insecurity at who I am on full display.
Ugh. I wish I was over that. I wish I didn’t care about what people at church thought about my wife’s hobby or people on the highway thought about my car or people at the mall thought about my shoes. But I do, more than I’d like to anyway and I’m not sure when that changes. I was hoping it was when you turn 30 but at 31 I know that’s not true. And it can’t be 50 because my dad is in his 50s and he recently told me, “I didn’t want to buy a unicycle at first because I was concerned that I was just doing it to make people think I was cool.”
The funny thing is that I don’t know if anyone in the recorded history of unicyclery has ever picked up the one wheeled wonder as a way to look cool. For me, it’s kind of the ultimate symbol of confidence, a move that with a large degree of boldness and brashness says, “I am so sure of myself that I’ll ride a unicycle. In public.”
So maybe that’s the trick. I need a unicycle. I need to trade in my cool t-shirts and hip ideas for something the clowns have been trying to tell us for centuries.
Today, I’m going to quit cool.