July 31, 2008

Life without Socks

I learned something about myself the first week that I retired. I do not like to wear socks. Texas is a great place to live if you do not like to wear socks, because a good part of the year, you can get away with it, climate-wise. I don't like to wear ties either, but I knew that long before I retired. Wearing a colorful piece of silk, knotted and pulled tight up around the neck so as to slightly restrict airflow, does not seem like the best of ideas to me. I think ties were invented by women to get even for men inventing high heeled shoes. I am not sure who invented socks.
I know my distaste for sock wearing is an outward manifestation of something else. I really did not want to plumb the depths of that part of my fevered mind too much, but I know I cannot leave it here even though I was happy just not wearing socks. My wife is somewhat amazed at the strange concepts in life that now seem to amuse me. Put me in shorts, tee shirt and sandals and I am happy. Just no socks; I am a cheap, although an embarrassing date.

But this isn't really about socks. What intrigues me is that this new persona is so different from the persona of corporate business executive I had to be so many years; way too many years as far as I am concerned. I am done with wearing that particular uniform, both in attire and demeanor. Now I can relax a bit, kick back and do the things that fit me better: study at seminary; look to what ministering to others means in the context of my life; loving on Jesus, wife, family and others. And not wearing socks. People have commented that I look more relaxed (I am), that I have lost weight (not really, I think stress makes you look even heavier than you are; like TV adding 10 pounds to you) and I seem happier (absolutely). This more casual lifestyle is making me relate to people better, and I will keep working on that, I still have a long way to go. God is still chipping away at that granite block of a mind I have. As I look at who I am becoming, I have this mind picture (did I mention it was a fevered mind?) of Andy, sockless and trying to help others. (Did I mention I was amused by strange concepts?)

What will require balance is my belief that God wants me to us the skills and experiences He let me acquire over a 30 year business career to minister to others. Balance in how to turn the success of the secular career into one of more significance in the spiritual realm. I like where I am today, but who I want to be tomorrow requires I keep a lot of what I was yesterday. There is where faith in Christ will come in. I cannot achieve the balance; God will have to do it; God will have to turn my life into that particular three legged stool.

Ironically, Dallas Theological Seminary, the starting place for my training for whatever ministry effort I embark upon, has a dress code that I am pretty sure requires socks. So, as I study I will have to deal with that restriction, as unreasonable as I may think it is. As I look to develop a more Christ-like life, I do not think they would have much of a sense of humor about me developing a more Christ-like dress. No robes and sandals for me until after I walk the stage and get my degree. I will wear slacks, shirts and shoes, adopting a blend of my pre and post retirement personas.
And yes, I promise that I will wear socks. And I also promise that not all posts will be this inane.


David Porter said...


This post was not inane! It was a great post and let us see your heart!

I enjoyed it immensely.

I too have become a sock-less dude, by the way. I can get away with that in Arizona just as easily.

Power to the sock-less!

Andy C said...

Thanks, David. It must be a "boomer" thing. Maybe we didn't get enough time as hippies when we were younger.

Chris Smith said...

Just be sure to keep your feet washed... ...or available for washing by others.

The Andy who shows up to lead our Friday morning life group is not the same Andy we all knew a year ago. The old one was pretty good. The new one is pretty good, and pretty relaxed.

Great blog.

Andy C said...

Glad people are noticing the difference 'cause I can feel it.