A Uniformed Purpose

Think of the different uniforms you've donned throughout your life.

How many come to mind right away?  3...6...14?  

You probably first thought of the uniform you put on everyday for work now (if you have one), or maybe the job you had in college as a barista, or your high school part-time job where you tried so hard to make pleated brown slacks look cool.

Maybe you didn't think of your job at all, but the sports teams you've played on: your first t-ball team, your church slo-pitch league, or that time you joined a bowling league and got your name embroidered into a navy blue polo by someone named Earl. 

The first uniforms that I thought of were my white shirt and clip on tie (with pictures of fruit on it) from a grocery-clerk job, my orange short-sleeved cotton button-up with short apron for serving at Swiss Chalet, and my heavy steel-toe boots and wool socks for the lumber yard. I thought of a shirt, or a whole outfit that had the name of a company or a team on it that I had to wear while I was playing out a specific role. 

I LOVE UNIFORMS, BECAUSE UNIFORMS REMIND US OF OUR PURPOSE. 

Last week I was working for the day with a friend opening pools. I showed up with my grubby pants and my dirty t-shirt. Then, he gave me a shirt with the company logo on it and all of a sudden I felt like I wasn't just jumping in for the day, but I represented his company.  

There is something about the clothes we put on each day that remind us what we're a part of and what we're supposed to be doing with that day. And I'm not just talking about the people that are putting on a company shirt, or brown shorts, or a badge and holster, or a green apron. I believe that each day we can clarify our purpose for the day based on what clothes we put on.  I mean, we could just hang around naked all day, but...(honestly I couldn't think of an end to this thought that would suit the conversation. Your call)

Since you get to choose what you put on for the day, make sure you choose with intention!

A Youth Pastor putting on a collared shirt because he's going to the seniors luncheon, or a t-shirt and shorts because he's going to watch high school football.

A Mom staying in PJs because she's having a snuggly day at home with the kids again, or putting on fitness clothes because they could go for a walk today and play at the park.

A corporate employee wearing a suit & tie/heels and jewelry because that's what is expected of you, or going to the office lookin' fancy because you are fancy. You put those on because in some way, when you look confident you become confident.

A Nurse that's stuck to scrubs, but thankfully you can choose your shoes. And you are gonna choose the best shoes that keep your legs moving so you can keep moving with energy through the day, even if they are CROCS!

A student taking a bag with her, the bag of books and notes and a computer that represents all the hard work you're putting into this. You carry that bag because you're grateful for the chance of learning new things. 

A Teacher in an outfit each day that makes sure you fit into the 'lame grown-up' box for the kids separating yourself from them a bit, but then has just enough current style to the ensemble that makes them wonder if you might actually be a human being outside of school hours!

An Artist that puts on the shirt with paint all over it, he has an expectation that by the end of the day if there isn't more paint on that shirt he wasn't trying hard enough. 

My brother is on film sets all day, he has a clipboard to keep the crew tight to the script. 

My dad went to photoshoots with his patented beige camera vest. 

WHATEVER YOU PUT ON FOR THE DAY, PUT IT ON WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR PURPOSE FOR THIS DAY;

IT MATTERS WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU ARE A PART OF, AND WHAT YOU'RE MADE FOR.

My office hours are usually spent at home. If I wake up, throw on my comfy pants, and don't change for the day there is a significant difference in the amount of focus I bring to the work I'm doing that morning. If I get dressed, clean up, shower, and then settle in my office space, I have invited my whole body into the process of creating something for the day.  

WHEN I AM INTENTIONAL ABOUT MY OUTFIT, I BECOME INTENTIONAL ABOUT MY PURPOSE FOR THE DAY. 

I heard about a pastor who works mostly at his church through any given day. He gets up early, goes through his routine for getting ready, puts on some biz/caj outfit and heads out. When he gets home at 5pm he walks in the door, puts down his phone, goes into his bedroom to change his shirt and wash his face before he says hi to his wife and kids. When he puts on the new shirt, he is saying to himself and everyone else, I'm here now.

I love the different uniforms I've worn over the years. They represent different times, places, and purposes of my life. 

Today, though I don't have to put on my clip-on fruit-tie to work, I recognize the need to get dressed in whatever I'm wearing for the day with the same purpose as that ridiculous tie gave me in stocking shelves at a local grocery store; I'm here, and I'm part of something bigger than myself, and I'm doing what I'm made to do.