A devotion I recently read was entitled, “wearing too many hats.” On any given day have you thought about how many different “hats” you wear? Many of us wear the hats of spouse, parent, child, friend, employee/employer, cook, bottle washer, chauffeur, just to name a few. Many others include family breadwinner, spiritual leader, schedule coordinator, caretaker, etc.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
Which hats are you wearing today? Are they all necessary? Are any more important than others?
I have a perfectionist gene. (I also have a very dominant procrastination gene, but that is a subject for another day!) I want everything perfect. I want my work all done, all deadlines met, and no errors made. I want the house clean, the closets organized, a welcome haven for all who enter. I want my clothes to fit well, every hair on my head to be in place, and my weight to fall in the “healthy” weight for my height column. Notice I started all these with “I want.”
Over the years I have come to realize that perfection isn’t everything, and what I want really doesn’t matter. My weight fluctuates to the point none of my clothes fit “just right.” I can keep my closets organized, but the rest of my house will look like a disaster because I don’t want to mess up my organized closets. My house is cluttered because I’m constantly attempting the latest Pinterest craze that promises a clean, organized home, but usually entails a new project to aid in that organization. I constantly have dirty dishes, because let’s face it, life is too short to stand at the sink and wash dishes all day—even putting them in the dishwasher takes too much time.
What usually happens is I work so hard at trying to make everything perfect, that everything suffers. Perfectionism takes time and in order to do one thing perfect, other areas are neglected. Unfortunately, the first thing to suffer in past years has been my spiritual walk. My prayer time consisted of one minute prayers thrown up as I hurriedly scurried around from project to project. My Bible study consisted of Sunday School and worship service on Sunday mornings or research for some crisis prevention/coping circumstance. Too often the laundry, dishes, meal preparation called my name. My priorities were all “jacked up” as my pastor would say.
By God’s grace I am “retired” now so I don’t have a full-time outside paying job. I have an empty nest so the laundry, dishes, cooking and chauffeuring have dwindled somewhat. However, I can easily fill my days with one time-consuming project after another, most of them time wasters if I were to be honest.
But my latest “I want” is to work on my spiritual walk. I want to know Jesus better and more intimately. I want to feel compassion for others and offer encouragement and prayers in their times of need. I want to serve God in such a way that when I make it to heaven He says “well done good and faithful servant.”
So while I haven’t really stopped wearing all those “hats,” I have stopped struggling to wear them all perfectly. I have straightened out my priorities and spend more time wearing the hats that are most important. By realizing what the important hats are I am able to wear them better—perhaps not perfectly but certainly an improvement over a haphazard, not-up-to-standard way.
Do you have a perfectionist gene (or nerve) that causes you to stress over wearing all your “hats” perfectly? Are some of your hats disheveled because you don’t have time to wear them properly? Are your hats in order? By order, I mean have you looked at those hats and determined which ones need to be worn more perfectly than others? If so, let me suggest you take a few minutes and prioritize hats. If there are any unnecessary hats that you don’t have to wear, throw them away. If there are any hats that are less important than others, don’t stress so much about them being perfect. My suggestion: Put the most important hat first (your relationship with the Lord) and all the others will become easier to wear and some will not even be necessary. Even those with full-time, outside of the home employment, will find this to be the true. If you put God first, everything else will fall into place much better.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:6 (NLT)
9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 2 Corinthians 5:9
There is so much I see around me that needs to be done. Help me to see through your eyes to determine what I need to do and what really isn’t important. I want to please you, Lord, first of all, for I know if I am in right standing with you, everything else I do will fall into place. Thank you for your guidance today.