There’s a great commercial currently running on a lot of TV shows. It depicts a casual Friday at Buckingham Palace. I call it great; because it’s so absurd on its face it’s funny. The guards at Buckingham Palace could never have a casual Friday. It’s a total non sequitur.
After watching this ad a few times, it occurred to me that virtually every day is casual Friday for me. Unless I’m doing a wedding, you can count on me to be wearing a pair of jeans (or shorts). It wasn’t always that way, but I’ve slowly transitioned into portraying the actual casualness of my life.
It’s not that I’m a total slob (at least, I don’t think so). I try to be neat, clean, and tidy for the most part. It’s just that I don’t think I’m fooling very many people when I get all gussied up. That’s just not me. Never was—probably never will be.
Cleaning Up Well
I’ve been told that I “clean up well.” That’s nice to know. I do want to fit in when those more formal occasions roll around. Still, I’m not one to be caught in a tux very often, although I actually have a couple of those babies hanging in my closet—ever ready at my beck and call.
In preparation for my recent move (see The Move From Hell), I went through every article of clothing in my wardrobe. I got rid of a lot. Largely among the giveaways were my less than casual items—you know, blazers, nice sweaters, and dress pants (not to mention suits). Frankly, I won’t miss a one. It begs the question, “Why did I have these in the first place?”
Thinking back on those purchases, I often picked something up because of one particular occasion that was looming on the horizon. I wore the item once or twice, then it hung in my closet to take up space. I didn’t want to get rid of it because, “You never know when I might wear it again.” Who was I trying to kid? Myself, I guess.
Does This Make Me Look Fat?
I find it fascinating that Jesus explicitly told us not to be so concerned about what we should wear (Matthew 6:25-34). He literally asked, “Why do you worry about clothes?” (V. 28) Yet, we just might “worry” about clothes far more than we do about most things. I suppose it’s because our clothing speaks loudly about who we are to those who don’t really know us. We want all the surrounding strangers to think we’re cool—at least worthy to be treated nicely.
And so it goes. We fill our closets with coverings that will attract, adorn, or otherwise make a statement so people will think well of us. Thus, we become the guards at Buckingham Palace.
I wish I had all the money I’ve wasted on clothing that I never really put to good use. Just think of what I could do with it. Why, I could buy a whole new wardrobe!
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]