There is something special about new clothes. I think my daughter Ana finds more pure joy in new clothing than anyone I know. She will walk in her room and light up if there is a shirt she hasn't worn. She will tear her old one off and put the new one on in a heart beat. She loves changing shoes, boots, socks, tights or whatever should be covering her toes. She loves putting on a hat, laughing, and then putting on another. Her school calls her Punky Brewster because she comes in such bright, new colors seemingly every day.
One of the funniest things about kids is having to continually teach them what clothes to put on. You would think after years of living they would know to put pajamas on at bed time, but every night is eight reminders for our five kids. Today I almost laughed when I heard Nikki say about six times that the kids needed hats and gloves. (It is freezing here right now!) Durant looked at her like she was speaking Spanish and nearly forgot how to put them on. We are working on tying shoes with him too, which is a brand new lesson in getting yourself ready for what the day holds.
I have been reading Colossians a lot lately. In chapter 3 Paul writes about us being new again, and this time he writes about us needing to "put on the new self." He writes that this self is being renewed as we grow "in knowledge after the image of its (the new self's) creator." Then he goes on and writes how it is that we are to put it on. We are to put on kindness, humility, meekness and patience. He even goes all parental on us. Like when we instruct our kids to dress for winter, Paul shows us what to put on when someone has a complaint against another. He shows us what to put on in community. He shows us that we are to bind it all up with love, like a giant zipper that holds it all in.
I want to have joy as I continue to learn how to "put on the new self." I want to be like Ana, so quick to tear off the old self and excited to show off the new. Not that I have anything to boast of on my own, but my God is good and I can talk Him up all day.
I think we get discouraged that we don't already know how to fully "put on the new self." We would rather have it be like a download that already happened. If God wanted it that way, He would have made it happen. Instead we get to learn to "put on the new self" in every situation since every situation is different. Along the way we will notice that the side effect is that we have grown in dependence on Him and that we have begun to dress like our Father.