I’ve decided to dedicate Thursdays to giving some of my personal life axioms…truth that, from my perspective, is self-evident. sometimes practical. sometimes philosophical. sometimes whimsical. but truth, no less.
“Be the same kind of person, no matter who you’re with or what you’re doing.”
This axiom is very particular to the uniqueness of a minister’s home, but I think the principle applies just about everywhere.
I made the decision when our boys were very young that I would work as hard as I possibly could to be the same guy…whether I was at the office, preaching up in front, out on the ball field, hanging around a bunch of teenagers, or watching TV at home.
I wanted my boys to see that I was just as real and just as sincere and just as normal at home, as I was in front of others. I didn’t create a “preacher” voice (if you don’t know what that is, you haven’t been in the church long enough.)
I disdained the whole “preacher” dress code. Some of you think I don’t wear a suit or a coat and tie or a robe with a collar…because it makes me uncomfortable or because I simply haven’t grown up to be a real adult yet. Truth is, it was a premeditated decision on my part to help my boys keep from getting an over-inflated or unbiblical view of what it meant to grow up as sons of a minister. Too much baggage. Too big a shadow. Too big of a fish bowl. I didn’t want to add to it.
On that note, I never expected them to be “preacher’s kids”, either. If I wanted them to grow up normal, then I needed to be normal. And by normal, I mean real. Regular. Simple. Consistent. Predictably ordinary in the sense that God doesn’t love me (or us) any more than anyone else, because of what I do.
I don’t deserve a special parking space or my name on the marquee or a seat at the front. I don’t need people to change their language or stop smoking around me or clean the house when I come over. I’m not going to do that for you…why would I expect you to do it for me. (By the way, I don’t smoke. Not because I can’t, mind you, but because it reminds me of coffee and coffee makes me want to puke…)
I know I’ve said this before, but I don’t mind being introduced as your pastor, as long as after that, you just call me Mike. Because my name defines who I am. My title doesn’t. I’m just mike. I want to be just Mike everywhere I go and whatever I do. I don’t want to be a different Mike depending on the situation I find myself in. Just Mike.
It’s simple. I can remember it. I’m seldom confused (at least about that). People know what they’re going to get.
It’s kind of special being predictably ordinary in a real, normal kind of way…don’t you think?