2012-04-24 - Hats
When I was growing up, my mother always wanted me to be fashionable. She ordered many of my clothes from New York, and I often had little hats to match my dresses. I loved the matching dresses and purses, but couldn't care less about the hats; in fact, in most pictures, my hands are on those pretty little hats, trying to remove them from my head!
Our spiritual walk is like that, too. Through the years, God sometimes changes our hats, moving us on from a longtime ministry, placing us in a new one. Sometimes people try to put ill-fitting hats (I'm not saying my mother did that; I simply have never liked any hats!) on us, and we need to say no to those hats After all, God does give us spiritual gifts for a reason, and though we should prayerfully consider input from other Christians, ultimately our decision should be based on what hats we feel GOD is putting on us.
In Genesis 37-39, Joseph provides a poignant example of this. As a teen, he wore a shepherd's hat, as well as the hat of his father's favorite son. When he was thrown into a well by his greedy brothers, he acquired the hat of a crime victim. Then the evil, greedy Midianites sold Joseph to the Pharaoh's officer Potiphar, with whom he wore a hat of slavery. But due to the evident leadership gift God had given to Joseph, he soon was entrusted to wear the hat of supervisor. However, Potiphar's wife made a false accusation against Joseph and he was thrown into prison, for awhile wearing the hat of the falsely accused. While he was still in prison, when Pharaoh saw more and more evidence of Joseph's ability to interpret dreams, he made him ruler of Egypt, in which position he would be reunited with his family.
Genesis 50: (NAS) 19 But Joseph said to them, Do not be afraid, for am I in Gods place? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
Joseph once again wore a pleasant hat. He surely didn't enjoy some of the hats he had to wear through the years, but gradually things improved for him. And as he proved his reliability, hard work ethic - and used his gifts his responsibilities were increased. Sometimes we think we should "have it all now." Instead, we should lean into the moment, ask God to help us enjoy the "now," and chances are also pretty good that like Joseph, our hats will evolve with time.
And sometimes God will bring an old favorite hat out of the closet, and place it back lovingly on our heads. In my own life, for decades, my most frequent hat was that of the pianist. But then I ran into a music director who simply didn't want me to sub for her, for whatever reason and even made cutting remarks when a committee asked me to play in her absence. I just "went with the flow" and thoroughly enjoyed singing and eventually being crowned with the hat of the "lead Alto." Then her successor happened to hear me playing, subsequently asked me to sub for him and eventually had me playing most Sundays. I have played regularly as a sub ever since. You just never know what God is going to have in mind for you.
Most recently, for my husband, God has provided a "finance committee" hat, and for me, God has added an acting clerk of church hat to my wardrobe. While I wasnt expecting it, it fits perfectly and is very rewarding.
What new hat do you think God may be about to add to your wardrobe? Are there any hats that no longer fit, that you need to remove (giving proper notice to the ministry of course, for God's word teaches us to be considerate and responsible). I would love to hear your hat stories.
Comments or Questions?