We left the farm for a day. Our youngest, a freshman in high school, is on spring break. Unlike many around here who fly south to get some sun and warmth we’re all itching for in Wisconsin, we go north every spring. Apparently, that’s crazy, so said the grocery clerk when she asked why I was loading up on Cool Ranch Doritos, chocolate covered long johns, Tootsie Pops, and bottles of spring water. (Normally, I’m a health conscious mom but, hey, we’re on vacation and I wanted to shock my son and his friend with things I never buy otherwise—except for the spring water, of course. I didn’t tell them that I put the root beer back. I mean, enough is enough!)
So Nick, in his pink hat, and his friend Nate, in his baseball cap, both settled in for the two and a half hour drive to Door County, our annual migration destination. As soon as we arrived, I made them stand at the trail head of the park to air out the nasty Cool Ranch Dorito smell that had permeated all fabric and air space in our car. Then they went for a hike, pink hat and baseball cap secured.
Once at our hotel, we did what I’m sure all of our Florida-traveling friends did first thing. We put on our swimsuits and headed to the water, except ours was enclosed in an atrium where the heat was cranked up to 85. Breathing in the hot, humid air, pretending we were in Florida, we walked into the warm, refreshing surf—of the hot tub, thankful to be dressed in something other than five layers of clothes and wool socks for a change.
After dehydrating in the hot tub, I chose an indoor chair, instead of the outdoor loungers still laden with snow, and snapped some photos of these two goofy boys having fun together in their hats—in the hot tub! These hats were their latest “fashion statements”, so they said, and must be worn EVERYWHERE. I laughed hard and enjoyed them not caring one hoot about what anyone thought.
I watched the boys do cannonballs in the far end of the pool, lose their hats, swim to retrieve them, and pop them back on their heads before their next plunge in the pool.
While watching the boys in their hats, I was also reading a chapter in Tim Keller’s Galatians for You and was struck with a serendipitous metaphor, both in print and in the hot tub and pool.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)
Keller’s wrote at length about clothing ourselves with Christ:
Our clothing tells people who we are . . . to say that Christ is our clothing is to say that our ultimate identity is found, not in any of [our worldly] classifications, but in Christ . . . Your clothes are kept closer to you than any other possession. You rely on them for shelter every moment. They go everywhere with you. So to say Christ is our clothing is to call us to moment-by-moment dependence and existential awareness of Christ. We are spiritually to ‘practice His presence’ . . . We are to ‘put on’ His virtues and actions. We are to dress up like Jesus . . . Finally, clothing is worn as adornment. It covers our nakedness; and God has been providing clothes which cover our shame since the Fall . . . So Galatians 3:27 is a daring ad comprehensive metaphor for a whole new life. It means to think of Christ constantly, to have His Spirit and His character infuse and permeate everything you think, say and do. (p. 90-91)
Amused, I watched the boys wearing their hats—pink knit and baseball cap—everywhere we went, never taking them off, even in places like hot tubs and swimming pools. And when they lost their hats because they took a plunge, they were quick to retrieve them and put them back on, still smiling. There’s something refreshing and attractive about watching people live their lives with such joy, such unselfconsciousness abandon. Makes me kind of want to don my own “pink hat” as often as possible. Because Christ, when worn well, is contagious. Joy spreads.