Reason to SMILE #187: NECKTIES
I have a confession. I love men’s neckties. No, not men in neckties – the actual neckties! Weird, isn’t it? I know. Sigh!
I think it started with the TV show Blossom. Do you remember that television show? The opening credits feature the main character bopping around in a skirt made from men’s neckties. I thought it was awesome at the time! I wanted a skirt exactly like it. I settled for a vest, though. I scrounged around in my dad’s old neckties, found a sewing pattern and helped my mom make a “Tie Vest” for me. (Okay. All I really did was watch as she made the vest! But I did pick out the ties. That was helping!)
From that moment, I have loved collecting old ties and repurposing them for all sorts of things. I’ve made pillows, chair seat covers, a purse, angels to hang as ornaments and angels to stand on a shelf. I’ve also decorated Christmas cards and picture frames and I have plans to make a Christmas tree skirt. (Ah! plans. Sigh! …again.)
I have boxes and boxes of old ties in my closet. If you were to sift through the boxes and pull out any one of the ties, you might actually cringe at the color or pattern. You might even question why I keep such awful accessories and suggest that I simply toss them. And I would respond in agreement that most of these neckties, once at the top of the fashion charts, are, in fact, quite hideous on their own. But, when you gather a few of these old-fashioned neckties and join them together to create something with a brand new purpose, their strange patterns and out-dated color schemes become something surprisingly beautiful! Of course, it takes a little work to repurpose these ties, ripping open seams, pulling out the inner stuffing and cutting away the worn and tattered edges, but the end results are always pleasing.
We’re a lot like those old, out of style neckties, you know. We become worn and ragged from life. We acquire stains, wrinkles, bruises and scars. Sometimes others look at us and shrink away because in their minds, we’re unsightly. We don’t quite meet their standards. They may choose to toss us aside thinking we are of no use to them. We all have that tendency to throw others away, not giving them a chance (or a second chance) or not being forgiving and accepting. What great potential and blessing we so easily discard!
Oh, but I am exceedingly glad that God sees us as more than just junk to be discarded. He doesn’t see our messy lives and seedy pasts. He doesn’t care that we have ugly scars or faded dreams. God takes a look at us and sees all that we can become, all that He created us to be. Then He picks us up, shakes off the dust, scrubs and washes clean the sin-created stains, rids us of the unnecessary clutter and baggage and molds us into something beautiful. But He doesn’t stop there. He takes the beauty He is creating in each one of us and He places us all together, a hodgepodge of talents, skills, and unique characteristics, to form a family working, living and existing together to bring glory and honor to Him. How cool is that!
But I must warn you. God’s repurposing is not an easy process. It hurts at times. It calls for sacrifice, humility and complete openness. It calls for dying to self. But the plans that the Creator of the Universe has for us are so much better than we could ever imagine for ourselves. And I guarantee the end result will always bring a SMILE.
Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Revelation 21:5 (NIV)He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”