Friday, March 8, 2013

Having a Foot in Two Different Worlds

Just recently I changed how my name is displayed on my Facebook account. Instead of reading my full name as it has since I opened my account nearly 7 years ago (Christopher Ryan Cole), it now reads as Christopher PastorDj Cole. I received a couple compliments on it from friends that I talked to, but there was someone who was a bit confused by the switch, and even went so far to say as it might be unprofessional for me to have it read that. This person, it may surprise you, was my lovely wife.

My wife, Sandy Buffy Cole, is someone who is kind of like that good angel that is on your shoulder telling you not to do bad things and always encouraging you to do good things. She makes sure that for Sunday and other special events I always look my best, even when I am convinced that what I am wearing is really good looking, and she encourages me to eat right and be more active. When she saw that I changed the way my name reads, she thought that perhaps I should tone down the aspect of my life that is involved with being a DJ that hosts a trivia program in places that have a bar area, though they are family friendly restaurants.

It got me thinking if perhaps she was right. It seems like an odd combination: on Sundays I am expected to uphold this certain image of what a pastor is supposed to be, and being a DJ might come across as being the antithesis of that. DJ's play loud music that has varying degrees of appropriateness, and generally aren't known to offer up prayers or serve the Lord's Supper. And they certainly don't preach while they're spinning tunes. And yes, I believe that DJ's still spin tunes, as many hard drives have a disk which contains the music files that spin.

However, it occurred to me, why should I try to separate the two? We live in a world that tries to compartmentalize everything. There is a home life. Then there's a work life. There's the role I have to fulfill as a husband, as a son, as a brother, as an uncle, as a pastor, as a DJ. I don't have enough heads to wear all those hats if indeed I am supposed to keep those areas of my life separate from each other. There are going to be certain elements that spill over into each other. I can't pretend, nor do I believe I should, to keep them separate.

Where there is a distinction though is how I treat the name my Facebook account now bears. Being a pastor is something that one does not enter into unless they are called by God to be that. For as long as I can remember I have known that one day I would be a pastor, and events in my life led me to that as my life's calling. Regardless of what happens with anything else, that's something that I do not believe will ever change.

The DJ hat I wear is not my life's calling. It's something that I do in order to earn some supplemental income, and I have a lot of fun doing it, but I can't say that it's something I am going to do for the rest of my life. But what it does allow me to do is connect with people that I might not otherwise connect with. I doubt that most of the people I talk to on a weekly basis while I am being a DJ and trivia host would ever voluntarily darken the door of a church. But I don't hold back from them that I indeed am a pastor, and it allows me to show them that I as a Christian can still have fun, still live life without being sequestered from the world. It doesn't mean that I have to participate in what they do, in fact more often than not I politely decline invitations to do things that are in conflict with my calling as a pastor.

Even Jesus Himself could be seen with, and often was found with, those in society that were considered castaways. The Pharisees questioned whether He could truly be the Messiah if He was seen eating with sinners, and prostitutes would break expensive bottles of perfume on His feet and anoint them. He touched those who were unclean in His day. He did the things that irked the religious people. He didn't do them however to create controversy, but because the gospel message demanded it.

The truth of the matter is I am a pastor who works as a DJ. There is no reason why the two shouldn't be able to exist together. If I can show the people I see on a weekly basis Christ through hosting a trivia program, then shouldn't I?

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