Saturday December 30,2017
One week from today, I get a new title. It’s not that titles are all that important, nor is it that I am all that important. But I get one nonetheless.
Now this is not the first time I’ve been given a title. In 1965 I was given the title “son.” In 1970 I was called “student” and in 1983 I was called “graduate” then “Dr.” in 2014. I got to be called “Christian” in 1971. In 1987 I was called a “boot” (that’s short for “boot camp” or new recruit to the United States Navy), and today I wear the title “veteran”. One of my favorite titles is “pastor” which I have held since 1990.
In 1991, I got the best title, “husband”, and then “father” in 1994, that title being re-affirmed in 1997 and 1999. And partially because of the last two, I get a new one.
Titles are fun. They say who we are or what we have accomplished and sometimes how we have failed. Some tell what we believe or how we might vote. But there is not one title in that whole list, nor in the list of titles which could have been mentioned, which can tell you everything about me. No one title tells you all I am or all I think or all I do. Each of these identifying words tells a piece of the whole, and all have some dependence on the others.
There have been a lot of people cross my path in the last half century or so, and I do not think I have ever met one single person out of them all who has only one side. I don’t believe there is such a one-dimensional person. We all have many nuances that make us who we are, inside and out, many titles which may describe at least a portion of that which makes us each an individual.
In the Bible we read some pointed words about giving too much heed to those with the more noble titles. Titles showing a person to be in a position of power or to have money or some notoriety seem to cause us to give one a bit more attention or honor. James tells us not to do that in the church as he reminds us that we are all in need of faith and its accompanying works. I guess the converse of this thought is not to think too highly of our own titles either – Romans 3 tells us that.
But, my new title makes me happy, and just a little proud. It makes me a little sad as well. One week from today, I get to be “Father-in-law.” Just another piece for me, but a whole new world opening for my “son” and my soon to be “daughter-in-law.” And I pray they find fulfillment and joy in their new titles, “husband and wife.”
See You SONday,
© 2017 Dr. SF Gallagher