Here I am, 41 years old and I am just finally comfortable being me. Isn't that crazy, at 41 finding myself. Lol!
I have never been your stereotypical pastor type ... it's one reason I questioned God when He called me into full time ministry back in 1988. I had a killer mullet when God called me, and because of my background AND the Bible College I decided to attend, I cut it all off. I don't regret it because the mullet was going out of style anyway.
This was the beginning of a life spent trying to conform and fit in. Trying to be a "pastor" ... in every way - trying to look like one, talk like one, smell like one (don't ask!) dress like one, preach like one, pray like one, etc. All in an attempt to fit into the little pastor box I had created in my mind. Well I just didn't fit. Never have, never will.
I've always loved Jesus with all my heart and never felt that God cared much about my hairstyle, my cologne, my suit or jeans ... but the church seemed to care a lot about such things ... hence the reason I didn't fit in. I even had well meaning pastor friends tell me that if I'd cut my hair and wear a suit that I would get more respect. And I always thought that if I'd just live and be respectable then I would get respect? I didn't realize it was about "looking" respectable that mattered?
And may I add that this isn't about OTHERS,this is about MY OWN perception from my upbringing and much of it is from my own self talk through the years that I am just finally getting free from. And I am becoming more and more okay that God called a guy who looks more like a California Surfer, or Country Music star then a Pastor. When I am out and about town I am never guessed as a pastor. Usually people think I am lying and they laugh waiting for the punchline ... the punchline never comes ... I really am a pastor.
I am who I am; a man who loves Jesus more then anything in this world, a husband who is crazy in love with a beautiful women I call wife and a father who cares more deeply for two adorable children then I thought I'd could ever care about something and then finally I am the pastor of the best church in all the world here in Kansas City called Mercy Church. God has brought some of the greatest people on the planet to Mercy Church that I get to share life with ... maybe it's you! Thank you for allowing me to be ME!
In closing I will just tell you that finding yourself and being comfortable with who you are is so freeing and fun. I am having more fun living my life now than almost any other time in my life ... I enjoy my wife, children, friends, and job so much more now.
Who are you? Are you comfortable being you? Have you found yourself?