You may be familiar with this story but it fits in well with Pastor Idleman’s Chapter 9 on Change….
There once lived a tailor name Zumbach who had a reputation for making the finest of clothing. He used only the best fabrics and he was especially known for his impeccable suits. One day a man named Sam walked into his shop and plopped down a large bundle of money in front of the famous tailor.
“I’ve always wanted to own one of your suits and I’ve been saving up for years. Is this enough money for you to make me a suit?” After carefully counting the money in front of him, Zumbach replied, “Yes, I could make you a suit.” “Wonderful!” said Sam, clapping his hands and smiling with delight. “First,” said Zumbach, “I need to take your measurements.” The nimble tailor took out his tape measure and proceeded to take Sam’s measurements, carefully recording every detail in a small notebook. Then together they picked out an elegant cloth from Zumbach’s fine selection.
“Come back in two weeks,” Zumbach said, “and the suit will be ready for you.” When the promised day came, Sam could barely contain his enthusiasm. He showed up at the tailor’s shop before it even opened. “Is my suit ready?” Sam asked Zumbach when he finally arrived. “Yes, of course.” said the tailor, “Come in. Here it is. Try it on.”
“It looks beautiful!” said Sam as he stepped into the suit. There was however, one problem. The suit didn’t fit. One leg was four inches shorter than the other, the sleeves were also of different length and the shoulders were several sizes too small. Sam was disappointed and angry. “Zumbach, what have you done to my beautiful suit? You’ve ruined it!”
“Nonsense” said Zumbach. “There’s nothing wrong with the suit. You’re just not wearing it properly.” “Not wearing it properly?” asked Sam incredulously. “What are you talking about?”
“Here,” said Zumbach, “let me show you. Just bend your left knee a little more. Yes! That’s good. Now pull your right arm up two inches and bend your elbow. Perfect! Now one more thing; raise your shoulders up so that they’re almost touching your ears. Just like that! Beautiful! You see? The suit fits you perfectly! Look in the mirror. You look like a million bucks!”
Sam took a look. He had to admit that the suit did seem to fit better now that he was wearing it properly although somehow it still didn’t feel quite right. He paid Zumbach for the suit, shook his hand, and left the shop to catch a bus back to his apartment. As he stepped on the bus, the driver smiled at him and said, “That must be a Zumbach suit that you’re wearing.” “Yes,” said Sam, smiling with pride. “How did you know?’ “Because,” said the driver, “only the gifted Zumbach could make a suit for a man whose body is as crippled and misshapen as yours.”*
As we consider real change, let’s admit the high cost of fitting in. Many of us spend our lives twisting ourselves into shapes and postures to make us acceptable to others.
But what happens when God says to us, “It’s time for you to deal with your problems now, and I mean it.”
You may be standing alone.
Can you do it?
You may have to cast off your cares for others because others may be challenged by your efforts to change. Many people are very comfortable living lives of mediocrity. They make accommodations in order to fit in and not upset the status quo. But God is calling you in a different direction. He wants you to mature beyond the problems which are holding you back in your life.
Others won’t understand. They don’t feel your zeal to change, in fact your zeal makes them feel bad because they don’t feel it and they know it and they wonder why. In short, your efforts to live a life in response to the Holy Spirit makes others recognize that they lack something in their lives.
Change takes courage, the courage to go your own way, the courage to do what is right, the courage to listen to God, not man.
Is it time to quit twisting yourself into uncomfortable positions just so you can fit in?
Is it time to be the person the God intended you to be?
Is it time to deal with your crippled and misshapen efforts at life and put on the suit you were intended to wear?
*From Linda and Charlie Bloom May 2, 2012 “Stronger in the Broken Places Blog”