Do you ever feel so self conscious and think that everyone thinks you're weird? As a Mormon, you may have experienced this as lots of people think it's funny that we don't drink tea or coffee, wear sleeveless shirts, watch Rated-R movies, or go out to lunch after church. Not to worry, I can help!*
While we may look a tiny bit silly, I have not felt all that weird putting on a helmet and biking around town. I know for a fact that my lovely companion sure has. Sure, we get the occasional snickers and double takes and, "Those girls are on bikes in dresses!" remarks, but I have yet to be embarrassed. Of course, I have not turfed it yet while riding and made a complete fool out of myself. Currently, I am a partial fool. And I'm fine with that.
Recently, my companion and I, as well as all other missionaries in my mission, have been instructed to purchase bicycles. And then use them. For Elders, this is all well and good. Everyone is already used to seeing the boys on bikes, dressed in white shirts and ties. What they are not used to seeing is this:
|Skirts; they are not conducive to bike riding.|
See, three years ago, I learned a great lesson about reducing your embarrassment. I had found myself able to get two helium filled balloons for free. So, I decided the best use of them would be to carry them around the University of Utah campus while I went to my normal class schedule from 9 to 5 the day before my 22nd birthday. They were lilac and teal and I loved them. Most mature adults don't carry around balloons; more often than not, I sold colorful balloons to small children. Naturally, I should have been shrinking into a ball of embarrassment.
I started my day by stopping at the Union Services Desk and picking up my balloons from my dear friend Kim. Then I took them to American Literature, each of my succeeding classes, and the lunchroom in the Marriott Library. Now while I fully expected many people to ask me, "Why do you have those balloons?" no one actually did until I was standing around in the lunchroom waiting for my pizza to cook. And when I said, "My birthday's tomorrow," he didn't really care.
I think what made everyone around me act normal was the fact that I acted like it is a completely normal thing to have two balloons tied to your wrist. Maybe they did think I was weird, but I didn't feel like they did.
We can do the same thing in most any other situation. Our confidence is what gives us strength, and if we, "Cast not away therefore [our] confidence, which hath great recompense of reward," we'll be fine. (Hebrews 10:35) In fact, we'll see great results, especially if we keep our confidence in The Lord.
Why does the Lord want to be confident? Because the other option is to be afraid.