"Do not let your adorning be external... But ley your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit." - 1 Peter 3:4
I um like to look in mirrors. It's hard to admit but there's this huge mirror at work here that's right behind the coffee bar. "These are a few of my favorite things..." I could probably stand there all day, pumping myself up with caffeine, doing push-ups and making crazy faces in the mirror. Or looking to see how devilishly handsome I can make myself.
I know have this proclivity for vanity. In fact just using the word "proclivity" makes me feel vain. But vanity is vanity right, and it will all pass.
As a guy I like to think of myself as athletic, ruddy and intelligent, but I've been having a reoccuring dream that's shaking up this thinking. It's a dream where my teeth start falling out. One by one they get looser as I wiggle them, and finally I pull them from my mouth. The most I've pulled out in a dream was about 8. I woke up really sweaty from that one!
So it happened again last night, and I'm beginning to wonder, why am I having these? It seems to happen on nights where I'm too lazy to brush my teeth. (And dental hygienists all over the US have given me the lecture about flossing. I have it memorized. I think they must get commission or something if they give it. And I always promise to forever floss from that day forward. There's something about someone with blood splattered rubber gloves on, a mask and a host of devilish torture devices on a tray that will make you say anything!
I think my dream has something to do with the spector of death that we all live with. The spector of growing old. The spector of losing our bodies and losing our minds. It will happen to all of us. I'm reminded of the scene in What About Bob where the boy shares with Bob right before bed, "We're all going to die Bob. We're all going to die." (Of course this is right before Bob shares with the boy about faking Terrets Syndrome, and they begin jumping around the room yelling profanities at eachother - what a movie! I wish I had Bill Murray as a roommate.)
Dwelling on dying is morbid (obvious statement alert). But we're given a different picture by Peter. From scripture we know he was a go-getter, probably a man's man and perhaps (and I'm just guessing) tempted by vanity. He was the first to sign up for everything, the first to try out Jesus' super-crazy-miracles, like walking on water, and the first to say "Hey, I'm ready to die with you Jesus!"
Peter seemed to think highly of himself. So something big must have happened to Peter, a radical shift in his ego to make him think of suggesting adorning oneself "with the inner person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit."
This gives me hope. This turn-around was even evidenced in Peter's death. He refused to be killed like Jesus, so he was crucified upside-down. Peter's perspective on adornment, gives us hope in aging, for as believers we have an inner person of the heart that is making us more beautiful each day. The path to God is one of growing realization of this beauty within, the beauty of Christ.