Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hats Off

This morning in adult class (yes! I'm actually in adult class right now--not teaching any kids classes. It's a new and strange thing!), we broke up into groups and discussed with each other the things in our lives that are keeping us from God or the things that are distracting us from Him. This has been a topic that has been on my heart a lot in the past few weeks. So I thought that since I am still meandering through my thoughts on the subject, I would share some of them with you.

Our group basically came to the conclusion this morning that the greatest thing that keeps us from God is ourselves--our mindset, our paradigm, our own general selfishness. For me the greatest form of this that I have been aware of is all the various roles I play. I am a church member, a daughter, a neighbor, a program director, a friend, an individual--and I could continue to ramble those off for a while. I feel like I am consistently taking off one hat to put on another hat, scrambling to have the right hat and the right priority at the right time. But the more I look at God and what He created us for, I don't believe that this role-playing bit lines up with Him.

Go way back to creation. What were the commands that God gave Adam? To be fruitful and multiply and to cultivate the earth. Right? But I can't find anywhere that God says, "cultivate the earth from 8 to 5 and be fruitful and multiply outside of that time." I can't find anywhere that God says, "put on this hat for a while and then put on this hat." This troubles me. Because it seems that Jesus called us to follow him and that everything in our life is to be lived out of that following. So every role I have must be an extension of who I am in Christ. And right now, that's just not the case. Right now, my role as "child of God", "follower of Christ", Christian is just another hat I put on. It's not the role out of which all other roles flow.

So my question is, how do we in a modern world full of all sorts of hats--cowboy hats, derbies, baseball caps--stop putting hats on and just live out the one role that we have been called to? I would enjoy your thoughts on this one. I want to simplify my life and just know Jesus. How do we really simplify in today's modern/post-modern world?


kristi w said...

This is a great post, Amanda. My mind is reeling a bit with thoughts, none of which are probably coherent enough to share right now! It is important to figure out, as you point out, that integration of follower of Christ with all other aspects of one's life. I'll come back with some real comments soon...

Amanda Peterson said...

Ah, yes, reeling thoughts...I understand that bit. This one has had my thoughts reeling for a while.

Jill said...

Obviously, this issue is one that I have been dealing with a great deal over the past six weeks. That "Mom" hat is a heavy one, and one that doesn't exactly match all my other hats. But it is mine, and so I have to find a way to make it work.

I don't think there is any easy answer to your question. Balancing all those hats while staying true to who you are at the core, a Christian, is a life-long task. I think the main thing is to make sure you put on your Christian hat, or if you will hair-net, first. The hair-net goes on first and will fit under any hat. Put God's will and example first, and then you will find that the rest fit better.

[Please forgive if this makes no sense; remember I am opporating on little sleep. :)]

Katey said...

Amanda- thanks for always just making me think. It is so hard to not compartmentalize your life into pieces but have the focus and direction of Christ-follower be part of every aspect. That is a daily struggle with me.

PS- I have a good friend who did the 2 year MDIV/MSW program at Baylor and she LOVED IT! Now she's in South Africa working with AIDS orphans. It's a great program.

kristi w said...

I never figured out what it is I wanted to say, but since you've already posted another deep thinker one, I'll just jump on to that topic! :-)