This morning I was listening to a sermon titled Confident Humility from Woodland Hills Church, while I was working. The preacher Dan Kent really caught my attention with this quote.
“The better you become at sumo wrestling, the less effective you will be at competitive swimming” – Dan Kent
The sermon was all-around good, but I’m going to segue into something that is not really tied to that sermon. This quote got me thinking about all the hats I try to fill in life. Sometimes I stretch myself a little thin trying to wear multiple hats, that I probably shouldn’t be wearing. Some hats I gladly choose to wear and would be terrible to take off, like the “husband” hat or the “father” hat. I would also say shedding the “follower of Jesus” hat is also a non-negotiable for me.
I feel that God has called me to be a husband to my wife, and I believe that he has called me to fatherhood, and even though I’ve wrestled with God on this in the past, and lost (luckily without hip damage, sorry Jacob. Genesis 32:22–32 ), I’m called to teach and share His word and love, people, the way Jesus did.
There are many other parts of my identity that God has blessed with like my creatively that comes in many different forms. One thing I feel that he has blessed (and sometimes I feel cursed) is being a Jack of all trades. I believe that this is not really for me to master everything (because a master I am not), but more for God to use me to be more relatable to people.
There are a lot of things I don’t feel as passionate about what I do, that I need to evaluate. I’ve been trying to ask myself these questions when deciding to take on a task.
- Does it bring me joy? – Do I or will it personally love doing this task and find joy in it?
- Does God actually ask me to do it? – Is it something that I feel God wants me to do, or is it something I want to do?
- Will I do it with excellence? – Do I see myself giving it the best that I can for it? Is it just something that I will only be half-hearted with?
- Is it just a means to an end? – Am I only doing it, because it will lead me to something greater, or different that I really want to do?
- Can somebody else do it and find joy in it? – Is it something that I’m doing because it needs to get done, but someone else would be better suited for it.
These are not 100% clear black and white questions, but a guideline for what I’m trying to use to evaluate things before I jump on the Yes wagon. This also helps me to prioritize things better.
For an example being the Church Custodian. Does it bring me joy? Yes to a degree, the tasks of this do. I actually enjoy cleaning and find it fulfilling. to make this my primary job, however, could be a decrease in income (if it was my full-time gig) Does God actually ask me to do it? No, not really…I mean to clean up my myself, for sure, but I don’t feel that’s how I’m called to serve. Will I do it with excellence? Yeah, and with joy. Put on my headphones and jam out to some rock and roll! Is it just a means to an end? Yes, the church needs to be clean (particularly the youth room at times), but to become the custodian because my youth is messy is not the right call. Can somebody else do it and find joy in it? Yes, I know a handful of people that fit the bill better than me and do it well.
Now those where not heavy no’s, so I do my share in keeping my messes contained and if there was ever a weekend spring cleaning that needed to get done, you can count me in, and as a youth pastor, you bet I’ve hollered “can you go get the broom,” but the reality is, that I’m not called to serve the church in this capacity.
If I focused so much on trying to keep the building clean, then I will not be able to focus on the things God has called me to do. I will not be able to teach teenagers about Christ and work on relationships with them. As mentioned, I can help and teach them to serve the church, were at the same time seeing me find joy in mopping, might inspire them.
Not everyone is capable of doing everything, nor capable of knowing everything, and that is ok. Be you. Be who God made you be Because God loves us all with an unsurpassable love. This unsurpassable love means that it is the maximum amount and cannot be made more. He does not love me more than He loves you, nor does He love me any less. We don’t have to try to do things He never asked us to do.
If you’re called to mop, then do it with joy. If God gave you the passion to be an electrician, then let that light shine, don’t try to force yourself to be a plumber. If you are gifted with creativity, then create, don’t force yourself to wear the hat (or stuffy tie and shirt)of a CEO, if that is not what God is calling you to do. Ask God to reveal to you what He would want you to do, and do it the best you can, and show humility when you can’t hit the 100% mark. Allow yourself, Grace. We will never have all the answers, and yes we will fail…more than once. It’s ok! Really it is.
It’s ok if you can’t fit that hat. Encourage someone else who fits it and share hats when you can. Here is a “Hat Tip” to you. I hope it helps and is encouraging.
As I mentioned, Dan Kent’s sermon was really good. His book Confident Humility Becoming Without Yourself will go more into what he preached if you listen to the sermon. It’s available for preorder at Amazon