Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity! – Ecclesiastes 1:2
Sometimes the Lord has a funny, and subtle, way of reminding me of His truths. Today, after a chat with Nick, I sat down to write a note from us to a couple we care about deeply. We talked about the blessing they’ve been to us as we started our journey together and we wanted to encourage them. I was excited about writing this note because of it’s purpose, but also because it’s one of the first I’ve written with our new stationery. (Note: I love stationery, especially when it’s personalized).
Whenever I sign both of our names, I have Nick read over it to make sure he agrees with the sentiment before it’s sealed. As Nick picked up the card, I suddenly realized that I had written it upside down! This should not have been a big deal. I should have just ignored the mistake, laughed it off and sent the card. In fact, that’s exactly what Nick said to do. Remember the reason I was writing the card? Oh yes, that’s right, it was to encourage and honor a couple who had blessed us, loved us well, and shown us much grace. I’m sure they would have completely forgotten it if they even made note of it at all. But, my own
perfectionism, self-judgment, vanity wouldn’t allow that.
So, I thought to myself, “No big deal. I’ll just re-write the card. I’d rather do it right. Ooohhh…since I’m re-writing the card anyway, maybe I should use a fancier pen…”. And so went my train of thought. I looked for one of my fountain pens, but couldn’t find one. I did come across an equally interesting writing utensil and proceeded to re-write the note. I got no farther than writing the date before I realized that the pen was leaking! Seriously?!?! One might think I’d already learned my lesson through this whole little episode, but vanity struck yet again. I didn’t want to change ink or start over, so I wrote the note with the bleeding pen and wound up with a hand that could belong to a Dalmatian. Sigh.
And this is how I know God has a sense of humor. He uses these little moments, where we can actually laugh at ourselves, to teach us serious lessons. Today I was reminded that “Vanity Stains”. I have known it for a long time, but it’s easy to forget. There is nothing in vanity that is attractive. It’s ugly. When left alone, it can quickly fade into jealousy, envy, bitterness and discontent. Hopefully today’s episode will help me remember this lesson. Everything is vanity. I don’t have to be perfect. Grace abounds and people will love me anyway. Oh yes, and my husband is wise and loves me. I should have listened to him in the first place!