I've been writing this week about identity, and I hope it has been a blessing to you. This is stuff it has taken me so long to figure out. Sometimes, I look back and wonder what I would have been had I know who I was a long time ago. Not that it matters now; today is all we have.
But in all this talk about identity and discovering who you are in God, who He had in mind when He created you, I would feel remiss if I didn't mention the trap of the greener grass.
That is, it is easy for us to get so involved in coming to know ourselves that we lose track of all else until suddenly...we are wrapped up in only ourselves. Still God, too, if we're lucky, but even when we feel Him powerfully in what we're doing, we're still stuck in ourselves.
God created in us some beautiful, wonderful things but the greatest of these is love. He created you not for your sake, but for His. He created you not to plow through your own life and make it to the end but to stop along the way, get to know your fellow man, encourage someone, and be encouraged. If we allow ourselves in getting caught up in who we might be, we lose who we are in relationship, and that is such a big part of what God has for us.
The way you can tell when you're getting comfortable with God's invitation in you and ready to move beyond yourself to look outward is when you find yourself getting to it, living life, and perfectly, wonderfully, happily content until that little second thought creeps into your head: "Ok, but why?"
Because for all the prayer, the introspection, the discipline, the courage, the journey of finding yourself, answering the "who" about you leaves that nagging "why" in your heart. It leaves you energized, knowing what you are, but there's something missing. It's beautiful that God created you this way, but just what was His master plan? You kind of cock an eyebrow to the Heavens and look around. The question changes:
Just what is God up to? Not IN me, but THROUGH me?
To discover that takes an earnest prayer and a sacrifice of self. (But I just spent all that time finding out who I was!) Yes, but give it all up. Take whatever you are, whatever He's put in you, whatever you've come to know, and give it back to Him. Be less self and more His.
You can be the greatest you within yourself, but it counts for little. You can be all you are in God, but you still come up short. You need to look to be fully you in Love (not in loving who you are in you, for that is just ego; but in the love that reaches out). That is where wholeness resides.
It sounds counterintuitive, but He promises this: the more you give of yourself, the more of yourself you come to know, the more of your heart you have, the more of your life you purpose to live. The more of your world you venture to touch. The more of His love you both have to give and have to hold.
You cannot lose yourself until you find yourself. Otherwise, you're idly - and lazily - passing off your nothingness into God's hands and praying He'll make it make sense. But once you find yourself, submit yourself in nothingness into God's hand, and He will bless your life and your world. You will touch others when they see that you know who you are, that you are confident in being you...and that at the same time, you have committed yourself to being less of self and wholly God's, confident all the more in being His.
Have you thought this week about who you are? And if so, have you thought about why? What can you do this week to take yourself and give it all back to God, to find out why He has you - His precious child - right here where you are? How is He calling you to touch your world?