Thursday, December 1, 2011

Busted Sprinklers: Why Brett Favre Will Retire Again

I build fences.  Okay...that's not the total truth.  I HELP  build fences.  I'm the least experienced and the least skilled fencer in the crew.  So, the menial, yet necessary (Do you like how I tried to make that sound better than it is), tasks fall to me.  I spend most days doing things any average kindergartner could handle: sorting, digging, lifting, carrying, cleaning, etc (too bad no coloring).  Although I enjoy what I do, I wake up every morning and give my ego a heads up, "Ego, today you're going to get a butt whipping! See you at dinner."  That sets the background for yesterday's events.

We are working on a narrow curbless street. So me, being the the thoughtful person that I am, park my passenger-side tires on the neighbor's grass to allow room for traffic to flow easily.  Apparently, I also decide to park on a sprinkler head!  "Crack," goes the PVC pipe 18 inches below the ground.  "Gush," goes the water underground.  The neighbor yells.  My boss is annoyed and frustrated. And I'm "Yippee-Ki-Yay... Idiot-of-the-day!"  This happens right before lunch and so as I drive away from the disaster sight I feel worthless and useless. 

"If I were only preaching again.  At least with preaching I have experience.  I have education.  I have more confidence.  At least I feel like I'm contributing to the Kingdom on a daily basis," my mind reminisces as I make the short commute home for lunch. As I reach home I start gathering lunch essentials: ham, Gouda, Triscuits, crunchy peanut butter, honey, ESPN, and the newspaper.  As I snack, read and listen, ESPN does an Urban Meyer segment, "Urban Meyer returns to college football as Ohio State's new head coach!" About the same time I read the line, "The Texans are looking to sign another quarterback due to injury, possibly Brett Favre." What? Hasn't Brett retired enough for 4 or 5 lifetimes? That's when it hit me.  Urban Meyer is Brett Favre and I'm Urban Meyer.

Even though he is 42, of course Brett Favre wants to toss the pigskin on the Sunday gridiron.  He spent nearly 20 years of his life as a professional quarterback.  A massive part of his identity is wrapped up in being a quarterback.  When he isn't throwing a football; he isn't completely Brett Favre.

Sure, Urban Meyer stepped out of coaching for health and family reasons, but of course he is coming back.  To be Urban Meyer is to coach college football.  It's who he is, so much so that he is willing to risk his health.  Urban Meyer can't be Urban Meyer if he isn't coaching football.  Lucky for you, Ohio State.  Not so luck for you, Michigan!

So when I drive away from the disaster sight it is only natural that my mind wanders back to preaching.  I've been in ministry since the summer after I graduated high school.  Preaching is part of who I am. I spent too many years placing my value and my identity in preaching, in my profession, in what I DO!  And that is a lie!

My value is not based on what I do.  It is not based on a career.  It is not based on preaching. I am valuable because God created me - period!  Your value is not based on what you do, on your profession (or your role as a stay-at-home parent, etc).  You are valuable because God created you - period!  My identity is not my career!  My identity does not come from what I do or how I perform.  My identity is found in God and he says, "You are a Child of God." Your identity is not what you do.  It is not your profession or how you perform.  You are a child of God.

It is easy to find our value in what we do.  It is so easy to misplace our identity in our profession, but in the end it will leave us incomplete.  Only when we are able to rest fully in the truth that we are a cherished child of God can we be free to serve him in any circumstance - to live to our potential on a daily basis.  The striving will cease; anxiety will dissipate; contentment will find a home; peace will inhabit our hearts.

Yes, I want to preach again.  Yes, I believe, by the grace of God alone, I will.  But first, I have to be content even if I never preach again.  This means I must place my full identity in God.  How about you?  Are you aware of how much your profession (or roles) dictates your identity?  Could you be content never doing what you do now again?  Is you identity really in God through Christ?


  1. I needed this word today, Charlton! Identity in being not in doing. So much harder to live. I appreciate you bro!

  2. Hard lesson. I've thought about that too. I don't want my identity to be anything more than His daughter bringing Him glory! He sure preaches some great sermons through you and I believe He will continue to do so.

  3. I do believe I could walk away today and be content. On the other hand, I keep looking for something different, something more and in that I am not content. I spend too much time looking for something up ahead and missing what is right in front of me.


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