I am a shy person and I generally hate attention, so it is ironic that I was a born performer. At a very young age I figured out I could do my signature "hiney shake" and get laughs from my parents and 3 siblings. Don't think I didn't pull out said move when I needed strokes, or maybe even when tension filled the house and we all needed diversion.
Then came elementary school. I eased into the role of model student and quite liked it. Hung on to that role till I wore my morterboard.
Next came show choir (this was before "Glee" made it hip, cool and now). I could pull out jazz hands and the white girl "Roger Rabbit" with the best of them...resulting in smiles and applause from the crowd.
Just in case you needed a visual
I don't think I was a fake in any of these roles. I don't think the "performances" were disingenuous.... But there was a definite mind-behavior connection: When I am in x,y,z role, I act x,y,z way. So determined were such roles, I could ease into them robotically, on cue, on demand kind of thing.
It should come as no surprise to me that this performance mentality creeps into everything I do... A good mom should act this way. A dutiful wife should employ such and such behaviors.
A godly woman should look and act this way. ...and right now I am dealing with this particular performance.
When I became a believer almost 19 years ago I immediately went into the "what do I do mode." I adopted behaviors I saw other Christians doing, and I made my life look the way I thought it should look. This is not all bad, b/c I do believe we should let mature Christians model for and mentor us. But I do believe I got it wrong at the heart level. I skipped the part where I sit and soak in my new identity. Where I sit and soak in His love, His choosing, His adoption, His fondness of me. Where I sit and soak in Scripture and let it become my heartbeat and guiding light.
Did I touch on those things? Absolutely. Did I let those things organically move me into action? Not so much.
So now I am pushing rewind, if you will, and I am trying to sit and soak in the Truth of his love for me. Sitting and soaking in is like pulling teeth, by the way, b/c in this current world, silence and contemplation is simply counterintuitive.
The thing is, I want to get this right. It's too important not too. It sickens me to think about performing as a Christian, putting on spiritual jazz hands and wowing those around me with something I conjured up and did in my own strength.
So my prayer--the desire that is determining how I order my life right now is this: I want to know who I am in Him and to Him. I want to sit in my role as beloved and soak up every ounce of it. I want that to be what matters paramount in my life. I want Him in me, to be what moves me.