My dad one time told me not to wear ties anymore.
It was right after seminary, and I was wearing ties to church. He told me I shouldn't do that because the world had gone more casual.
He is a minister, and like many churches, his had gone to a more casual style than the way many of us grew up. People no longer wear their “Sunday suit” to church anymore. While that is true, I still wear my ties.
It started in college. I would wear a tie to class. I found out, mainly through a poor midterm GPA my first semester, that I need to dress according to what I’m doing. I felt suddenly free in college to wear whatever I wanted, and I wore the standard freshman attire of pajamas to my 8am classes. But it was hurting my attention span.
So, I started to wear ties. Whenever I was “working” I was wearing a tie. My friends used to make fun of me all the time, but it was helping me. I paid attention when I paid attention to what I was wearing.
In Colossians, Paul tells the fledgling congregation, “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” He is telling them to “put on” love, just as they put on their clothes every day.
When we clothe ourselves, we make a choice. We wear what we need for what we are going to be doing. We wear exercise clothes, we wear lounge clothes, we wear work clothes, we wear what we need according to what we are going to be doing. If we are going to be inside, we need to wear a mask.
We also are going to encounter challenges every day. We are going to have moments of joy, and moments of struggle. We are going to hear good news, and bad news…how are we clothing our hearts to face them? Because according to social media and the news, we are clothing ourselves with anger. We are clothing ourselves with competition, and we are clothing ourselves with selfishness. What we wear is a choice, and what we need for ourselves, families, and for the world, is to clothe ourselves in love. To choose love because it binds everything together.
I still wear ties. When I put it on, I pay attention, and it helps me be my best. When I meditate and pray, I put on love. It really does bind everything together.