Mismatched Or Misunderstood?

Mismatched socks.

The bane of my existence. I had no trouble with this–until I had kids. Then my dryer developed an appetite for socks–and insisted on never eating a whole pair. My youngest has dealt with the issue by wearing them mismatched.

That’s not something I do comfortably. I want agreement on my feet.

Endings and beginnings. A lot like mismatched socks. Life is full of them. Even though they piggyback each other, one rarely finds them to be the same.

As we’re finishing up this year’s program at work, with our people packing and cleaning apartments before our final retreat, we’ve begun meetings to plan for next year.

Changes are a comin’.

We’re re-structuring our program, adding new form and substance to make it more efficient and effective. More ways of providing growth and encouragement for folks who’re in transition.

It’s a change process–not something I always embrace well. My unsung motto for years has been, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But I’m also curious enough to want to know how we can do better. How we can improve serving others.

Here’s the challenge. Our team doesn’t see things the same way. We have disagreements about how some things should look. How programs should be carried out. Not big knock-down-drag-out disagreements.

Differences of opinion. Like a room full of mismatched socks.

What’s often unclear is how much we need all those socks.

Such disparity is not uncommon. We’ve all got different stories, different grids through which we view life and make choices. Our pasts, the people who populate our personal dramas, the things that we’ve done, the grand and gross all impact how we see life.

No two of us are the same.

It’s one of the most delightful and frustrating things about the people I work with. I love that we bring such a variety of perspectives to the table. It gives us incredible capacity to do an array of things. Switching it up with regularity. Meeting unusual needs as we go forward.

Until I don’t want to. And I want them to think more like I do. See things like I see them.

I can’t make that happen. No matter how much I want others to clearly see my point of view.

They won’t always. Because they’re not me.

There is value in discussion. To listen to others who want me to see their way as much as I want them to see mine.

Complete consensus is a great goal. Not always possible. Bing willing to graciously disagree is a discipline I need to pursue.

God glories in our differences. He made us each with a wonderful, messy uniqueness.

That matches no one else’s messy uniqueness.

That’s one of the things that makes life so splendid. That we can grow to appreciate those who are different from us.

Life is a pile of mismatched socks. Different designs. Different colors. Different textures All useful and necessary. God’s heart is that we become comfortable in our discomfort with things not being what we expect or want them to be.

Recognizing how much we need each other’s wild mess.






4 responses to “Mismatched Or Misunderstood?”

  1. I wonder who decided socks must match anyway!

    Sandra Auer Sent from my iPhone



    1. Excellent question, my friend. It’s actually a great inconvenience and gives us more usage if we don’t. So when we lose one, we just wait till another single comes along.


  2. Alice Fredricks Avatar
    Alice Fredricks

    Thinking of you and praying for you all as you work together on the changes! ❤️


    1. Thanks, Ali. It’s going to be a journey, that’s for sure. But God is always good–we just need to be willing to see it.


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