There are many things in life that don't go the way the directions suggest they will.
In preparation for a break time we are looking forward to, I decided to try spray tanning. The white of my legs could scare small children and it seemed like an easy fix. A fix that lots of people take advantage of. You know, all those Olympic ice skaters and such. I can do this.
I didn't want to have a real person.....spray me. Somehow asking them to close their eyes didn't seem wise. So the answer was this automated spraying deal. It talks to you from the moment you step in the room. Let me describe how this goes down...
You are directed to put protective lotion on your hands and feet - which I did liberally. Then you step into the time travel machine and wave your hand to indicate to the machine that you are ready. There are numbers on the floor. You can see those numbers clearly when the time machine isn't filled with fog but once the fog starts spraying it's kind of interesting.
The sprayer goes up and down, gently misting the color on. It's meant for people of all heights, so it continues up as if I was 6' 3" instead of 5' 3" - causing the mist to keep falling from on high until that cycle ends and it starts misting downward.
You change positions by putting your feet on different numbers as directed.
Now, step out and wait for the applied fog to dry before putting on your clothes. Wait.....wait....wait....
The real person at the front desk gives firm advice not to get wet in any way for the next 6 hours. It's pouring down rain outside. POURING. I have an umbrella - probably the largest one we own. I made it through the rain but getting IN the car with the door closed is another story. It rains on the inside of the door. In my rush, I close the door on my wet umbrella which sprays water all over me. Oh yay. Really?
But again, my thoughts go to looking like the Olympic ice skaters and even slightly on those body builders that are always so tan. I THINK that's my subconscious expectation. In just a few hours, I'll look like that!
Well, by this morning I HAVE changed colors. But evidently, the lotion that's suppose to repel the tanning spray actually attracts it in my case. ANY WHERE I put the lotion is darker than where I did not put the protective lotion. My feet and hands are glowing with color. No - really - GLOWING. Oh yay!
I share this for a couple of reason. One, it's just funny and so true to how things go in my world.
But also, in so many ways it reminds me that we love shortcuts. What's the quickest way to get my desired result - physically, emotionally, spiritually. I'm thinking the shortcut way will always end up biting you in the backside in some way. Relationships grow because we invest in them, strength grows because we exercise, knowing God's heart and voice increases because we spend time with Him. Period. The "spray tan" version of anything that is important will - not - last. It might feel good for a moment - but it looks and feels shallow and even fake.
So, I will go to church tomorrow. Do I wish I wasn't leading worship from the piano with my glowing brown/orange hands? Yep. Oh well. Man looks on the outside, God looks on the heart. Sigh......:-)