A special treat: A chapter from “God, Girlfriends & Chocolate!”
We’d pick out our favorite gowns, use our homemade score cards to judge the talent competitions, and cry when Bert Parks would sing, “There She Is, Miss America.” (If you don’t remember Bert Parks, my apologies. Parks was emcee for the pageant from 1955-1979.) We dreamed of the day when we would look like, act like, and be Miss America
We still enjoy the tradition of experiencing the pageant together. As the contestants parade across the stage, we text our opinions and call each other with our “Yeah, really?” comments during the commercials. But admittedly, our attitudes are a bit different. Now, we’re looking at women who are at least 30 years younger than we are. All the dreaming in the world won’t help us look like that. So of course, we resort to petty jealousies.
When we are discussing the inappropriateness of how much the slit of the dress reveals a contestant’s leg, we are really saying, “I would give anything if my legs were toned and my thighs didn’t jiggle.” When we are appalled by how much cleavage is showing because of the low-cut cut evening gowns, we are really saying, “What do I need to do to keep my breasts from hanging to my waist?” When we are evaluating the four-octave vocal solos, precision ballet pirouettes, and concert level piano concertos, we are really saying, “Unbelievable, and they’re smart too.”
Here’s what I’ve been reminded of as I watch, dream, evaluate, and face reality: A young woman doesn’t wake up one day and decide she’ll just show up that evening at the convention center and make a run for the crown. No, she makes a long-term commitment to do whatever is necessary to reach her goal. She wakes up every morning, determined to make the choices and live a life that reflects whom she wants to be.
What else does it take to succeed? Guts. I mean, really. How many of us are willing to parade around in a swimsuit on national TV? Count me out. I won’t even do it at home.
My dream of being 5’10”and weighing 112 pounds evaporated years ago. My desire to be Miss America is history. However, I do desire to be the Gaye Lindfors God has called me to be. I need to discover what that means and how she looks, and commit to becoming that person, living in obedience to the teachings that will get me there.
God has put me on this earth for a purpose. I am expected to use my skills, abilities, and uniqueness to live this purpose at work, in my home, in my church, and where I volunteer. He has asked me to know Him, which means that I spend time reading his letters to me, talking with Him, and listening for his voice. He has asked me to live fully, meaning I must set aside the whining, jealousy, selfishness, and unforgiveness.
Most of us will never wear a tiara, but all of us have been offered the crown of life. “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (I Corinthians 9:25)
Just as it is with the accomplished, smart women who compete in the Miss America pageant, being the person God calls me to be requires that I make choices each day that support and affirm my calling and my commitment.
Who has God called you to be?
What are you doing today to authentically be that person?
“And, we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way—bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Colossians 1:10)