The scariest question sometimes is “Who are you?”.
The reason this scares me is that my mind immediately leaps to what I do. I like ministry, I like fixing cars, i like being a husband (not necessarily in that order!).
But that doesn’t answer the question. It only shines light on what i like doing in my life, not who I am as a person.
The world seems to further this way of thinking. Colleges tell us that we need to pick a career and then we inadvertently align our life’s meaning with that work. This creates a connection between who we are and what we do that doesn’t seem to get challenged much by the culture, even in the Church.
It becomes, “Nolan the Mechanic” rather than “Nolan, who does automotive side work”. One defines me as my vocation, the other separates the two.
This has been a challenging new way of thinking because I’ve always subconsciously aligned my identity with my day-to-day activities. If work goes rough, I feel down, if speaking at youth group went rough, I beat myself up.
But this isn’t how God wants us to live. He wants us to find our identity only in Him!
The only way to break the mold is to recognize that the only person or thing that has the jurisdiction to tell me what meaning i have is God Himself. A job can’t ascribe meaning, it didn’t create us! A family can’t ascribe meaning, they’re fallen sinners! Only the one who created us can tell us who we are.
And as much as my heart argues and tries to find my identity in my job or my life circumstances, God reminds me that only He has the right to tell me who I am. I don’t have that right.
Just a little something God reminded me of today.