A God who wears many hats…..
In this season of graduations, I just learned something about one of the more famous graduations in the country, the one at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Many are familiar with the “hat toss” at the very end of the program since it’s often featured on television news. At the final dismissal of the class, each newly minted officer throws his or her white cadet hat into the air. The sight of nearly one thousand hats flying up into the air makes for a great picture. Here’s what I never knew until some parishioners shared it with me last Sunday: children are permitted to rush onto the field afterward to pick up the hats, because tucked into each one is a little bit of cash and a note from the hat’s owner. The note is usually some bit of life wisdom or encouragement that the former cadet wants to pass along. A connection is made between individuals who don’t even know one another. (By the way, there’s not a lot of concern
about getting the hat back, since with graduation comes a promotion, which requires a new uniform and hat anyway!).
Picturing this scene in my mind made me think about the Pastoral Council here at St. Anthony’s—the outgoing members as well as the incoming—and what words of wisdom or bits of encouragement the former might pass
along to the latter. To that end, we have arranged a little get together for the members of both councils, to meet, to chat, to learn more about what the council is and what their new roles will be. Whether incoming cadets or members of the outgoing council, both groups are leaving a legacy. Relationships are established, mentoring of some sort occurs, the web of life expands to include others we might never have met or influenced or learned from.
Perhaps on this Trinity Sunday, we might take our cue from that expert at relationships, our Trinitarian God,
who ever seeks to expand our webs and enlighten our minds and hearts to recognize the connection that exists between all of us. The work that we do as a parish— facilitating the Kingdom of God in the little acre of the
world we’ve been given—is enriched and even made clearer by these connections.
So whether today you throw some hat in the air or find one to pick up, believe that it’s all part of the plan, the
ingenious plan, of a God who so loves the world and all that is in it…..a God who wears many hats…..