Casual Fridays

by DanWolgemuth on November 5, 2021

It was my first real job… a Systems Analyst for a small insurance company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. An annual salary of just north of $10,000 a year. But then, this was 1977.

As an incentive to attract young college graduates, the company offered, Every Other Friday Off! I jumped at the opportunity.

I bought a few new ties, and a sport coat or two in anticipation of the corporate dress code. I also noted that coffee was only available in the cafeteria, and that was where it had to be consumed. No coffee in your cubicle! This alone might be a present-day non-starter for me, but that was a less caffeinated time in my life.

A few years into this assignment, a new corporate benefit was announced. My memory is that it coincided with a rescinding of the “Every Other Friday Off”. Instead,  we were given “Casual Fridays”. No ties. No sport coats… even blue jeans were acceptable. Certainly, a brilliant corporate move to obtain an extra 8 hours of work from employees.

Yes, Casual Fridays.

By the time I was working for General Electric in 1996, ties were completely unnecessary in the workplace.

Yes, Casual Everyday.

Yes, casual in nearly every aspect of our lives. And while we typically associate the descriptor to clothing, the posture has filtered into every aspect of our lives. Including our personal, and yes, spiritual lives.

“Call me, Dan”, is what I would likely say to a teenaged friend of our granddaughter, as she stumbles over the pronunciation of “Mr. Wolgemuth”. Over my tenure as President of Youth For Christ, I would realign people that wanted to refer to me as “The President of YFC”. I would most commonly retort… “Just call me Dan, I’m just one of the team”. True, but an overextension of casual. In a sense, a disempowering of the mantle of leadership that God had called me to.

And how about others in key leadership roles? A code phrase to discredit or mock the President of the United States, might feel trendy, or cool, or even justifiable… but it also diminishes the most significant political role in our country.

On a spiritual level, this leaks into my conversation and attitude toward Jesus. My buddy. Part of my posse. My co-pilot.  While this might seem like it makes Jesus marketable, it doesn’t acknowledge the grandeur and glory and position of Jesus the Christ.

Revelation 15 says… “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy.”

I fear that Casual Fridays has informed Casual Deity.

Jen Wilkin, in her book, Ten Words to Live By, notes that a staggering 95% of the times that Jesus is referenced in the Epistles, He’s referred to with a title of “Lord” or “Christ”.

Jesus is a faithful companion, but make no mistake, He’s also King. In fact, in Hebrews the first chapter, we are told that God refers to His Son in the following way:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.”

Yes, the Father calls His very own Son, God! Let that sink in. Reverence. Honor.

Approachable. Loving. Caring. Compassionate. Tender. Humble… but never casual. Indeed, we worship what we honor. We praise what we respect.

Isaiah shows us what it’s like to be in the presence of God, and what our most appropriate response should be… And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”

God of the universe. Period. And yes, Savior… and for this we should find ourselves at His feet.

For He is Lord. For He is King. Casual on Fridays, but never in the presence of our Savior.

Jesus is Lord. Let that sink in…

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