DOCTOR WOLFE

WORDS FROM W.W. June 10, 2010

I recently got an e-mail from Mike Oldham, who is on the staff of the American Baptist Churches of the Rocky Mountains. He was inquiring about my doctorate degree. Just call me Doctor Wolfe, or just “The Doctor” like it’s my disc jockey call name.
For the past three years or so I’ve been getting correspondence from our denominational headquarters in Pennsylvania addressed to “Dr. William Wolfe.” I don’t know how I got elevated to that next degree level, but there it is…every time. Even the mission giving certificates our church receives has my name embossed on it in bold letters as “Dr. William Wolfe.”
I’m going out on a limb here, but could it be that I received an honorary doctorate from an institution of higher learning and no one told me? Could it be that I was suppose to give the commencement address at the Gluten-free Cooking School of Spiritual Leadership and the invitation got lost in the mail?
If that’s the case, I humbly apologize…but please send me my framed honorary degree so I can mount it on my office wall.
I told Mike, who by the way will be a “Doctor” in the not too distant future, that I have not been, nor probably ever will be a “Doctor.”
I am willing to consider it if there’s a senior discount rate involved.
These days it seems like it’s easy to pretend to be something that you aren’t. Ever gotten a breakfast at Denny’s or a hamburger at Burger King and said to the person serving you, “No, I want the one that is in your menu picture. This looks completely different.”
There seems to be a loss of salvation between the end of the worship service and the exiting of the church parking lot.
“Hey! Isn’t’ that Deacon Smith who’s yelling at the Safeway cashier.”
Sometimes people even make you something that you aren’t without any effort on your part. I recently attended my sister’s church and was asked to give the closing prayer. I think that I must have given the appearance that “I could pray good.” It did roll out of my mouth and was honoring of the presence and personal nature of God…I think. At least no one threw anything at me when I said “amen.”
Evidently there are several people in this world who desperately want to make me a doctor. Thirty-one years in the ministry should get me something besides higher blood pressure, cholesterol, and closer in time proximity to higher places.
There was a good devout Unitarian that people wanted to make a Baptist because she brought the best baked beans to church potlucks. Belief systems were of secondary importance when a taste of the sweet sauce of the baked beans touched the tongues of the congregation.
There was a man who grew pot in his backyard, but he was an amazing shortstop for the Lutherans. Knowledge of his “side job” gave double meaning to the term “high chopper.”
We can masquerade as something that we really aren’t, but sometimes people have us arrive there even before we’ve even thought about it.
“Dr. Bill” sounds too much like “Dr. Phil” (I wonder if his is real!). I think I’ll just stay with Pastor Bill and Coach Wolfe.
It’s who I am.

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