As I was tucking my kids in bed last night, and my son was asking for another blanket because it was so cold, I recalled a weird story.
The year was 1998 and the month was January. I was living in Nyack, New York which is right on the Hudson River, just north of and across from New York City. I had been invited to Orlando, Florida on a business trip and was scheduled to fly out of Newark International Airport early one bitter-cold January-in-New York morning. I remember that there was a steady falling of snow, sleet, and freezing rain as I was preparing to leave for the airport that morning.
As I got dressed, I thought about where I was headed. Orlando, no matter when you go is pretty much paradise. Having been to that airport before, I envisioned the warm, swaying palm trees, the gorgeous, near-perfect temperatures, and the bright sunshine that would greet me. So despite the below-freezing temperatures I was experiencing in New York that morning, I decided that I’d wear shorts and a t-shirt.
I still remember the looks I got as I stepped out of my car in the long-term parking lot at Newark Airport. I remember how cold I was standing in that monorail platform station awaiting the next train that would carry me to the main terminal. I remember the monorail ride, when I even tried to stand closer than necessary to some unsuspecting elderly woman who had a long winter coat on, the kind that seemed to radiate heat. I was just so cold, so bitterly cold in my shorts and t-shirt. But I kept reminding myself, “But when I land in Orlando, I’ll be the one ready for the weather.”
And sure enough, when we stepped off that plane, while others sweated it out with winter coats awkwardly tucked under their arm or tied around their waists, I was ready for the weather. I had planned ahead and had dressed for the destination. Unfettered, not weighed down, I moved quickly and comfortably into the Florida sunshine.
I believe that as a follower of Jesus, I need to have the same approach to living. So often, I get dressed for where I am now. I clothe myself in “clothes” (that is, mindset, attitude, and priorities) for where I am now as opposed to where I’m headed. I can be susceptible to the cares of this world, and consequently unprepared for the glories of the next. So, as I get ready today and everyday, I’ll dress for where I’m headed instead of where I’m at.