My friend Landon reminded me this week that – when President Obama welcomed the World Cup winning U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to the White House Tuesday – he said, “This team taught all America’s children that ‘playing like a girl’ means you’re a badass…”
I grew up in the South and Southern ladies do not say words like “badass” nor are we encouraged to aspire to such behavior. And yet, I have also worked in professional ministry for a long time and I’ve found that everyday badassery is extremely helpful when dealing with the rigors of serving the people of God.
The Urban Dictionary defines badassery as “Engaging in seemingly impossible activities and achieving success in a manner that renders all onlookers completely awestruck.” Yes, please.
And I say this believing that no badassery is possible without divine help. Seriously – God blessed Abby Wambach and company with some heavenly skills.
The truth is that the people of God – clergy and non-clergy alike – can be mean, conniving, selfish, and every other colorful but flawed characteristic. We see the very best and the very worst of people each day. (And sometimes we are those very best and very worst people.)
I saw this yesterday (thank you Bec Cranford-Smith) about pastoral depression, the incidence of friendless pastors, etc. and – clearly – we pastors need to hone our badassery skills. Yes, professional ministry is lonely. Yes, we are often Sabbath-challenged. Yes, people believe they can treat us like doormats because they assume we will not confront them on it.
But this is not our calling. We are called to be awesome – for the sake of something greater than ourselves.
We are called to overcome injustice, choose faith over fear, and be kind – even to those who don’t deserve it. We are called to everyday badassery in the name of One whose leadership was based on self-sacrifice that leads to transformation and strength based on utter integrity.
Landon privately challenged me and Rocky Supinger to consider the call to badassery this week, and I appreciate Rocky’s particular nod to clergywomen. But guys – do not disappoint us. We need to see “seemingly impossible activities that render us awestruck” from you too. For the love of God, show us your best selves.