December 19, 2010

The Common Question of Mankind

Like every other human being on the face of this Earth, I have very often wrestled (desperately) with the question that haunts each of us with its hounding force:

"Who am I?"

Every person here can relate to that query- no matter their faith, creed, race, preferences, history, age, knowledge, values, experience, or any other matter of differentiation. What follows is my perspective, my personal "take" on the matter. But I'm not trying to "push" my beliefs or opinions; I'm just trying to be as genuine and sincere as I can be, true to my own convicted heart.

We are human, all, and this nagging question of identity seems to be perpetually stuck with that existence.

But, even if I'm not able to perfectly define who I am, can I at least define who I am not?...

Who I am is not what I do- I don't think it's even a decision that I need to make, either today or on a day in the far-off future. It's not a lifestyle, and it isn't the emotions that I struggle with. It's not the adrenalined fear I feel when another car starts to cross blindly into my lane, nor the hopelessness that threatens to swallow my heart at the end of a particularly terrible day. My emotions are the clothing my soul adorns- they change to the season. They can be representative of me, or a point in time, and they can reflect my values, history, vanities, or preferences- but they are not who I am.

Who I am is not whether I say "please" or "thank you." It's not something that can be improved upon by a hearty spritz of cologne and a good pair of starched khaki pants. It's not found in my home's equity or in how much money any given year yields for me. It is neither a grade of A+ nor F-. It's not how many people actually read my blog (Thank God!). It's not the number of "friends" I have on Facebook, or the number of posts on my wall.

Who I am is not others' opinions of me- good or bad.

Who I am is not something that will happen to me on a mythical "someday" in my later years. It's something that has already happened for me. It is an intricate mystery, beyond human comprehension or mathematical equations- something that no one will ever completely "figure out."

However, "who I am" does exist, and I can choose to glimpse it, describe it, utilize it, or share it with those around me...

Who I am is the face buried beneath the streaked layers of primitive war paint, the eyes that peep out when the defenses are all the way down, the constant truth I so often hide with crafted masks, of my own or others' designs.

I am (all in all) a beautiful mess, an intriguing complexity, a radiant and unknown truth...

And so are you.


jnash said...

"Who I am is not something that will happen to me on a mythical "someday" in my later years. It's something that has already happened for me."

This is huge. If a Christian is defined by his/her belief in God and a non-Christian by his/her unbelief (as we often say and I personally believe), then who we are is decided by what has happened FOR us, either salvation or non-salvation.