Breaking Ties with Too Many Hats to Wear
It's National Hat day! I have a collection of hats that range from my little league all-stars to my recent trip to Hawaii. I don't really have a good relationship with hats, lol. It seems that for one thing I have a larger cranium than most and so I usually I haven't been too quick to add to my collection for it usually is disappointing. Plus, I do have my childhood best friends words ringing in the back of my mind of his honest opinion "you really don't do hats well!" Thanks bud!
However, I only bring up all the head talk because on this Break the Ties Tuesday, we may need to realize that we are wearing too many hats for our own good. Some roles aren't ones we can just ditch without consequences or long term disasters (marriage, parent, employee), yet there are some less significant hats we wear that actually need to be tossed and left in that extra closet space for good.
"Take the hat off of assuming full responsibly for others decisions."
The Hat of assuming responsibility
The unique opportunity we have as believers in Christ is to develop compassion for others so that we are sharing in the journey of developing our faith and our day to day in a context or setting that we thrive. We are given only so much to handle at a time and with the blessing of a faith community that is authentic, compassionate, and generous, we will see new landscapes unfold as we develop and grow in the Lord through the challenges that come. However, there is a pitfall in that we can find ourselves seeking to be fixers and cheating people out of the experience to grow through their decisions or mistakes.
You would be amazed at how many times in a day people will want you to take responsibility for something going on in their lives. Whether it is a coworker or a employee that wants to shift a load your way, a friend who doesn't know what to do with a situation, the draw is to allow the weight of their situation to fall all on your shoulders. Now, I must state that we must serve one another, but we mustn't enable each other to the point it stifles our own responsibilities and those who need us the most to be present, and engaged. Take the hat off of assuming full responsibly for others decisions.
The Hat of guard railing
This seems to come with the territory of parenting, informing your kids where there is a cliff of poor moral judgement and disaster. However, this is not your role to extend to others to the point where you are the moral police. As a pastor, I am learning more and more about how to step in to offer the Truth and wisdom in peoples lives, verses throwing myself in front their decisions that have them stepping on the gas as they throw themselves over the edge. I will always throw spike strips down of Scripture, compassion, and counsel to help pierce through poor choices or falsehood, but they are the ones who are in control of pulling the emergency brake.
The other side of this hat is that it is a cover or a disguise. Sometimes this hat is worn because there is an intense amount of sin or shame that is taking shape or remains painful in a person's past. The loss of control and damage that they suffered has them hyper vigilant to ensuring that it doesn't happen in others and they project their convictions onto those whom they can control or influence. It is dangerous and usually is void of gentleness, grace, and love.
The Hat of detachment
The final hat that I want you to break ties with is the hat of detachment. This may read contradictory to guard railing, but it is just on the other side of an extreme. To be detached from responsibilities in your own life or from engaging in your community is not part of the plan for those who are to experience the blessing and fruit of being part of the body of Christ (the church).
There is a great drive for individualism in this culture of ours. That the most important focus that is accepted is your own self actualization and how the rest of the world aligns to edify your realization of goals, dreams, plans, and outcomes. Yet, we aren't made this way. We can't be fully known unless others know us. This is where we must take off the hat of detachment and strive to develop honest, committed, and grace filled connection with others. We need them and being a Lone Ranger has it's limitations to when we are in over our heads with the many throws of life. Don't see your detachment as an independence where you are bothered by others. You just may miss the greater joy of being vulnerable enough to depend on those who can be present in times that are peaks and the times of valleys.
I pray that you do break ties with some of these hats to that you may wear. When we are over extended we don't seem to really accomplish any of our roles well. Consider how you can wear and bear an amount that provides balance, margin, and fulfillment. It may not be something you can start today, but there are decisions you can make now that will bring you one step closer to taking those hats off your dome!
Keep Looking Up!