I really like hoodies! They are awesome because they give you the versatility of a coat and a hat…But I had a problem. I depended too much on my hoodie. It was my security blanket. Much like Linus from Charlie Brown, I was useless without it. My faith was in my hoodie.
As many of you know, I grew up the son of a preacher man…awkward…I gave my life back to Christ at the age of five and was sold out! I was the neighborhood VBS champ! I was snatching up the neighbor’s kids left and right and bringing them to church in the hope that they would find the joy that I had.
As a teen I strayed from my Christian walk. I found that fitting in, being popular, and fulfilling my own desires were more important than living the life I knew God had for me. I was wearing The World like a hoodie. I covered up who I really was with The World, just like I cover up my normal clothes with my ten dollar hoodie from Target. The fact that I have a hoodie on doesn’t mean that I forgot my clothes. No matter how much I looked like the world, I knew, and battled, with the calling I knew God had on my life. I never forgot what God called me to do. In Matthew 28, Jesus gives us a great command, a Commission even.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I knew this as a junior high and high school student, but the hoodie of The World was more important to me. I did what I wanted for the majority of those six years, but as a Junior in high school, I realized that I was in a huge mission field and I needed to take off my hoodie. I attended a retreat and continued to pray that God would reveal His will for me.
Before I tell you God’s answer let me share another fact about me. I, as a teenager, despised youth ministers, pastors, whatever you called it, I couldn’t stand them. I found them to be nothing more than the kings and queens of Hypocrisy Kingdom. I saw them as wearing their own hoodies, but reversed…which is just as sad and destructive to the Gospel’s spread…Their hoodies were of the Christian kind, where mine was of the World. They threw on their hoodies on Sundays and Wednesdays and then lived however they wanted the rest of the time. Now that you know that, let us continue the story.
As I prayed sitting under a tree in the woods somewhere in Northern Louisiana, God answered my prayer for clarity in His will for me. His answer was a resounding, “BE A YOUTH MINISTER!”…God speaks in all caps because it is important, not cause he is angry (just to clarify)…I couldn’t help but laugh, but as I thought about it I realized that it was my peers that I cared about and starved to help remove their insecurity hoodies, hidden identity hoodies, and just ignorance hoodies. Being a youth minister was what God created me to be! I also realized that I didn’t need my physical hoodie to bring me comfort and security, I had the God of the Universe on my side. Look at the end of Matthew chapter 28.
“I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
My peace, comfort, and security was with me always. I encourage you to take off whatever hoodie you have on now, whether it is the hoodie of insecurity, pain, guilt, popularity, or shame, our God is big enough to take care of you. Romans 6:4 says,
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
If you want that peace and joy, it is so easy and yet so difficult! Please shoot me an email or call my phone if you’d like to talk some more about this idea of joy and peace. I would love to share my story in greater detail and hear yours!
*This is my first post, so let me know what you think. All comments are welcomed.