sometimes i wear sweatpants to the grocery store.
i know that, culturally, wearing sweat pants is a sign of uncleanliness. it means that i truly don’t care what people think. it means that i’m sloppy. it shows that i’ve given up.
in reality, it just means that i got tired of trying to hide all of my messiness.
hiding all of the messiness gets exhausting. you go to work and you hide the messiness at home from your coworkers. you leave there and go home and you hide the messiness at work from your family. you go to bed and try to hide the messiness from your dreams only to wake up and do the entire process all over again.
and sometimes sweatpants are your reminder that it’s okay to stop hiding the mess and bring it into the public.
this past sunday reminded me that sometimes acknowledging the mess is what’s needed.
we opened a new venue at our church back in september. this past weekend we had the biggest crowd we’d ever had in there. as we started the service, everything seemed to be going great. people were engaged in worship. the announcements were funny and welcoming to people. as we did our normal break before the sermon for everyone to get some coffee and say hey to those around them, we all felt good. we’d gotten through the tricky parts of the service. it was smooth sailing from here.
then we pressed play on the sermon video.
then we noticed the video felt like we were watching youtube on a dial up connection.
thinking it was just a one-time thing, we quickly hit pause and restarted the video.
it messed up again.
third time’s a charm, right?
by that point i realized we had a problem. i ran out into the lobby and literally yelled to our tech director who was across the building that we needed to get the backup drive from another venue. then i walked to the front of the venue to tell the host that we needed to switch drives and that we needed him to stall for us.
we needed him to get up in front of everyone and tell them we messed up.
we stopped the video, the host jumped on stage, and then he told people that we were having some issues and that we were working on fixing them.
then people laughed.
they could relate.
i was reminded in that moment that sometimes all we need to do is acknowledge our issues. we don’t have to try to cover things up and look like we have it all together. the people that we’re trying to impress look at us and know that we have issues because they know that they do too.
on sunday morning, every person in the room could see that the video was messing up. they all knew something was wrong. once someone acknowledged it and said we were fixing it, people immediately moved past it. by the end of the service, no one was talking about the mess up. instead, they were all talking about the good parts of the service.
in case no one else has told you, let me be the first: sometimes it’s okay to wear sweatpants to the grocery store.
sometimes it’s okay to admit that you don’t have it all together.
sometimes it’s okay to show people the mess.
when we keep the messiness hidden, we ensure that we’ll go through it alone.
when we open up and bring others into the messiness that is our life, we open up the chance for others to join us in getting through it.
don’t be a hero. don’t try to do this on your own. this week, acknowledge the messes that are in your life. bring them to the forefront and let people know you’re working to fix them. invite others to come alongside you as you go through it.
dressing up is nice occasionally, but sometimes you just need to wear a pair of sweatpants.
say your prayers and take your vitamins.
have a nice day.