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On Being the Misfit You Are

So, who are you, meaning, what is your heritage? When asked about our background, most of us think in terms of geography, the countries or the regions of the world from which our forebears hailed.


Asked about his heritage, Mark Twain had a different take: “My father was a St. Bernard, my mother was a collie, but I am a Presbyterian.”


Wending its way from a Texas Methodist comes the suggestion that we think of ourselves as Misfits. When asked about our heritage, simply say, “I am a Misfit.”


Not terribly complimentary, I suppose: synonyms include Oddity, Eccentric, Oddball, Loner, Nonconformist, Rebel, and Crank.


Be that as it may, wear the label proudly, for as our Texas friend says, Misfits are the secret strength of our congregations, and heaven (or wherever, depending on your tradition) knows, not just our congregations need some secret strength these days.


Imagine getting dressed in the morning and just before going out the door, you pin a giant badge on your shirt or coat that says “I Am a Misfit.”


Quite possibly, like Moses at the Red Sea, it could make your movement through a crowded mall much easier. On the other hand, it could generate some interesting conversations, if not some not-so-secret strength.