For the first time, this year April 15th represented something more than finding myself logging on to TurboTax with a wrinkled W-4 form and a caramel apple spice in hand…it was also the deadline for Ad Pages in The Miss Tennessee program book. I still sometimes can’t believe I’ve been given such an opportunity, that one day I’ll sit with my niece, or my daughters and granddaughters and watch Miss America and tell them; that was something I was a part of! Preparing for Miss Tennessee is a lot more details and things to focus on than you would expect, just another piece of proof that beauty queens are more than just hairspray, lip-gloss and butt glue. Yes, I said it…butt glue. From time to time this can be the perception of those of us who wear a crown, and television shows like Toddlers and Tiaras do nothing but enhance a vapid and shallow perception of beauty pageants and beauty queens. However, to kneel down with a group of children and explain to them what it means to be a servant to others, to have a sweet red headed little girl stare up at you, cross legged with her head in her hands, absorbing every detail of what its like to pursue your dreams….well that is a foundational element of why we do, what we do. In 5 very short weeks I will find myself in Jackson, Tennessee. I will wave and smile and sign autographs, I will interview for the job of being Miss Tennessee, I will compete in evening gown, talent and swimwear. I will give a final on stage answer hoping to capture the hearts of those determining who will win the crown that final night. But to reference a comment by my pageant sister and more importantly my sister in Christ; God has already determined that woman. He knows exactly who it will be and why He has called them to complete that journey. This does not mean I’ll shrug my shoulders and concede to an unknown destiny. It means I will walk onto that stage knowing I have given every shred of endurance, every last bit of effort. To quote a favorite of mine, Winston Churchill, I will offer all of my blood, sweat, toil and tears. I will leave that week knowing I put all of myself out there without reserves, retreats or regrets. If I am first place, and the Miss Tennessee crown placed on my head, to God be the glory and may my life be a proclamation of His sovereign grace. In turn, if I am ranked 36 out of 36, if the only purpose for my time there was to shine as brightly as I could for Jesus Christ and leave others touched by His Gospel than that is why I won, and that is why I went. Too often I find myself anxious over the to do lists, over bills to pay and taxes to file, I fret about work out schedules and breathing exercises’ and wether my song sounds perfect, yet I must always remember that this life, is but a whisper in the great song of eternity. It is temporary and my prayer would be that I would never lose sight of things eternal and never stop listening to the great melody written by our Master Composer.
With taxes filed and tiara in tow,
Miss Walking Tall