I am Yours7:26 AM
Who am I?
"For now we see as in a glass darkly, but then face to face...Then I shall know even as I have also been known"
Who am I? This question echoes throughout our age with the empty reverberations of a clanging gong. I am an ever changing creature fluctuating with the tides of circumstances, influences, and emotions. I am an evolutionary being, melding and morphing to meet the needs of the current stage of life. According to Shakespeare: beginning gloriously as the mewling, puking infant and finding myself the school boy, the lover, the soldier, the man, and finally the aged "sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything". I am told I am unique, undefined or as one song puts it "I´m your hell, I´m your dream, I´m nothing in between" or even for those exceptionally undefinable "I´m like a bird, I don´t know where my soul is". This endless, insatiable quest after the unknowable, unatainable, and thoroughly ellusive self is the great passion of many a life in these times.
But what is it that actually defines "me"? Is it my emotions, my job, the way people perceive me? And yet, all of these are just as influenced by the stages of life as anything else. I may have been despised in high school, adored in college and forgotten thereafter. According to one study, I will most likely have 7-10 jobs in my life another changing flexibility. My emotions are another issue altogether. I may wakeup with the efferevescense of a chipmunk, jump out of bed in sheer joy and stub my toe in my own enthusiasm thereby leaving me in a state of petulance and pain for the rest of the day. Surely emotions cannot even attempt to define me.
And what is my reward once I have "found myself"? What then? How will that change the world. I know myself. Great. Good for me.
Recently Chad Bono, the poor misguided daughter of Sonny and Cher came out with a book titled "Transition" about her forty years of life as a man trapped in the shell of a woman. A more heart rending search for "self" I cannot imagine. And yet he, she, it has not answered the question she was so longing to discover. What defines self? For surely if she is so concerned about the inside and feels that is what defines her, then why should the outer trappings make the least difference? Or are we back to the issue of how other people perceive us? However, this is not a blog dedicated to the search for sexual identity. So now what?
My real question comes from a Christian perspective. Do I actually need to discover myself? Is this really a part of the Christian life? Perhaps in the beginning of the Christian life, the discovery of self is a good, even neccessary thing. For once I see that the all alluring self that I have been striving so hard to please, with her lustful impulses and overwhelming need for affirmation, is not actually the beautiful goddess I once perceived, but rather, a fire breathing dragon whose sense of pride can scorch anyone who dares touch her.
We are a little bit like Eustace in C.S. Lewis' "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" who sees his reflection and beholds the dragon he has become although it had really lived on the inside all along. When having seen ourselves for what we are, why on earth would we desire to discover more?! I am a wretched creature, a perversion of what God created for good. We see as in a glass darkly... And just like Eustace, I cannot change myself, I cannot attempt to take off the thick, scaley layers of dragon skin by myself. I require someone with much thicker claws and yet someone who isn't afraid to touch me. Becoming a Christian, being "born again" is escaping at last the years and layers of hateful detestable self that had enthralled and bound me for so long. Must I search for her ever longer? I think not!
What then is our focus, our aim? Is it not to know Him? Someone actually worthwhile to get to know! And the more I take time with Him, the more walks I have with Him in the cool of the day, the less power and enticement self must have over me! For a very long time I believed a lie that if God changed me too much then I would become just a minion and there would be no more of me. What a lot of nonsense! In fact, every day lived with Him, the peaceful and the tumultuous alike, I become closer to the original design and hopefully a little less like the dragon that used to inhabit my skin. What a redemptive plan! But to revert to the original question; who am I? I believe Casting Crowns has put it best "I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind. Still you hear me when I'm calling, you catch me when I'm falling and you've told me who I am.....I am yours." What a delightful thought.