If you know me, you know I’m a hat guy. Being that I lack any hair on my head, I have to protect it from the elements, mainly heat and cold. I love all kinds of hats. My go to is a baseball cap, especially in the Summer. Sometimes I wear a bucket hat in the Summer if I’m expecting to sweat a lot, my bucket hat is washable and well worn. It served me well this Summer while I was in Spain. Still, I have quite a few hats in my collection that I wear from time to time. I have a straw boater, a couple cowboy hats, a couple derbys, a couple homburgs, several newsboy and flat caps, and a dearly loved fedora. I know, I know, its an obsession of mine.
Thinking about my hat collection, has me thinking about all the different hats all of us wear in our lives. It used to be hats were an extension of a person’s style and personality. Sometimes, they even denoted a particular profession or class. So the hat became a symbol for how you were supposed to act and be in a given place. Hence, “what hat are you wearing today?” Or, you may have even heard persons saying they are “wearing several different hats” at a particular time. This would refer to fulfilling different roles at the moment.
We might ask ourselves, what hat are we wearing today? Are we wearing the hat of a “boss,” or the hat of a “line worker,” or the hat of a “tradesperson?” Are we wearing the hat of “a friend,” or “a counselor,” or “an advisor,” or “confidant?” Does the hat we’re wearing lend itself to our being trustworthy or not? Does the hat we’re wearing have us act in ways not keeping with our core beliefs? Does the hat we’re wearing help us, or hinder us in how we are able to relate with others?
So often, it seems, in our lives we play our designated roles, but are unaware of how those roles make us appear to others. Some people play the superior role and have no time to invest in the people around them. Those people are merely there for convenience and service. They are unimportant. Some people play the director role and use people to achieve a certain objective. Some people play the role of a nurturer and try to mother each person around them. Some people play the role of combatant, therefore the people around them are enemy targets to vanquish and roll over. Some people play the role of encourager, wanting each person to feel valued, important, having worth and therefore wanting them to reach their potential.
What hat do you and I wear? What role do we play in people’s lives?
Its been said, “what matters in life is not how much you gain, or get, what matters is how much you give.” In 1 John 3:17 we’re told, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has not pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person.” 1 Timothy 6:7 says, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” The truth is, the only thing we leave, and the only thing we take with us love.
We get caught up in what hat we’re wearing, or what role we’re playing and oftentimes we forget the ultimate hat we are to wear and role we are to play is being the image of the Creator. God did not create us to be anything other than a reflection of God. If the hat we wear causes us to act contrary to God’s love for us, then its time we changed hats. The hat I always want to wear is the one that exudes and personifies love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the fruits of the Spirit of God dwelling in us. No hat, no role, no persona should cover us or invade us to the point where we don’t exhibit the best reflection of God’s Spirit.
I’m praying today for you and me. I’m praying no matter where we go, what role we fulfill, what hat we have to wear, we can do so with God shining forth from us. May God bless us and keep us wherever we find ourselves. May God’s truest self be reflected in all we say and do.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,