I have a secret to tell. Deep breath. Exhale.
I have always wanted to be a Mascot.
Before I am judged amidst the laughter and the “you are kidding me” thoughts… Let me explain my slightly awkward desire to fill a 104 degree sweat box that is covered in matted fur, 12 inch creepy eyeballs, and honestly has no idea if they’re about to fall down a flight of stairs or hit a kid in the head with a trashy free tshirt.
Since I was young I loved watching the mascots at games. I grew up attending sporting events. I truly did love watching sports but the mascot always caught my attention too. As I watched the crazy character, I often thought that if I could be the mascot I could be whoever I wanted to be. I could act a fool and no one would ever know it was me in that big furry suit. Never mind that I’m 5’2″ and could probably never fill out a suit. Though there was this one time at a football game where they had a Carl’s Jr. Hamburger mascot out on the field. I thought to myself “now that’s a suit I could wear!”. Again, stop with the judgemental laughing.
The idea that I could wear a mask and be a care free person was so enticing. I wouldn’t be bothered with the idea that I might be too silly for someone or that giving out high fives to people would look uncool.
As I got older, in the midst of watching the really bad mascot cartwheels, I began to wonder about the person in the big ugly suit and my own motives in why I wanted to fill the sweat box. On the outside they looked like a ton of fun but what were they really like on the inside? Did they naturally have that fun mascot personality or did they take exception to it? Did their heart contain pain or a lack of self-confidence that was masked under the 6ft suit? Was the mascot a means to a brief moment of separation from reality?
I really began praying that it was the first answer, that the character on the outside was the same character on the inside. That the life inside the suit was truly comfortable in their own skin and they believed they were created to be exactly who God had made them to be. A change of personality did not need to be made once the suit came off. Let that fun loving spirit exude into the lives around them 24/7 and have the confidence not to change who they were as a person. They didn’t need to seek after the approval of the crowd, but being centered in Christ, they would desire to lead the crowd.
I knew this was the person I declared to be. My desire was not to portray a false character but to live out the joy of the Lord at all times. Ephesians 2:10 says “I am God’s workmanship, created to do good works”. The Word says I am his work, beautiful in Gods eyes, and I am to spend my life doing good works through the Lord and following God’s commandments. Most of all to love people. These precious mascots were a teaching tool that God was using to ask me if I was living out who He created me to be at all times. Who knew a hairy beast could take me into such a spiritual thought process!
To be crazy honest, if given the chance, I would still jump at the opportunity to be a mascot for one game. Not so that I could be someone that I am not, but to capitalize on the fun loving character that I am. To show kids that life is all about stepping into the personality God has given them. If that’s taking on the intense job of being the mascot or filling the shoes of a powerhouse coach, I must be who God has called me to be. Inside and out.