Last week one of my friends on Facebook had a picture of Pig Pen from the Charlie Brown comics with these words “Be You. The World Will Adjust. I thought it was a great picture I put it on my Facebook page. This is a thought process that I have struggled with as a pastor’s wife/pastor the past twenty years. The struggle is we have had people who want to change us to fit into their mold of how pastors and their family should look and act. Two week ago, I was talking to pastor, who is our age about this struggle. I did not think that would still tell me how to dress when I has fifty-four years old. During this conversation, I had an epiphany what the true problem involved. Dale and I have been the first non-baby boomer pastors in all our churches. We were born in the gap between Baby Boomers and Gen X which 1961-1966. People who were born in those years usually related to one or the other. In our case we tend to identify more with the Gen X generation than the Baby Boomer generation. We also like to hang out will Gen X’ers or Millennials. One because when Dale went to college for the second time, he hung out with the Gen X generation, because they were going to school at this time. Our oldest two daughters are part of the generation before Millennials and our son is a Millennial. We have spent a great deal of time trying to connect and identify with these generations. Perhaps because we see these generations are missing in so many churches.
I know that when we were growing up we heard a great deal about the “generation gap.” In many ways this gap has only widened over the succeeding decades. Perhaps this is why the picture on Facebook spoke to me. We expect people to form into our image of what we think they should be, rather than let them be themselves. We do need to celebrate our differences because God made us all different. He made us all different. That way we can relate to different people. I love the fact that each one of us can relate to different people because we are different. After all if we were all the same, where would the fun be? If we were all the same, let’s face it, some of us would be unnecessary.
It is important to be you…because there is no one else like you. AND…it is important to let others be themselves. God is using them in unique ways. Does someone not fit into your mold of the way you think they should behave – or any number of things — like the car they drive, the shoes they wear, the foods they eat, the clothes they wear, the books they read, they way they decorate their house? God uses each one of us in our uniqueness to minister to people – to different types of people – so that we can take the Good News to the world around us.