Last night, I was about to say something very Christian-sounding, but I stopped myself. It started with Big Brother. (Sorry.)
One of the "houseguests" on this season of the show pulled off a miraculous competition win minutes after he found out literally everyone else in the house was against him. I have to admit, it was pretty impressive...until he spoke. He said something like, "Now I have to start rebuilding some trust in this house. So it's time that I tell them who I really am." And in his book, who he really is is the brother of a semi-famous sister and an internet personality defined by his number of followers. I immediately screamed at my television, No one cares who you 'are.' It doesn't matter.
And what I wanted to say, and to plaster all over social media, was this: It doesn't matter who you are; it matters Whose you are.
Which sounds all good and Christian, doesn't it? We say things like this all the time. And there's a way to read it that it's not devaluing, but there is a way to read it that is biting. As I half-typed that sentence, it was the biting way that nipped at me.
The truth is, it matters deeply who you are.
Who you are is woven into the fabric of this universe. You were created for such a time as this. It doesn't matter if who you are seems like a big thing or a little thing or hardly anything at all; you're doing something here. And the world in which you and I live is counting on you to do your thing. The universe is holding its breath, longing for you to be who you are. I...am longing for you to be who you are.
Not everyone has a concept of God, not one they can rely on at least. For those of us who do, we figure out who we are through an allegiance to our Creator. We ask Him; He reveals us. We keep our feet on the right path by walking ever toward Him. We meditate on who He is and He whispers who we are. It's enough to keep us going in the right direction.
For those who don't have a concept of God, to be true to oneself is, at the very least, to develop an allegiance to your truest self. It's to examine your heart and know at your core who you are, what that one thing is that you were created to be.
So what I was really bristling at when this reality show contestant spoke was his lack of self-awareness. It was his unwillingness, in admitting who he was, to admit who he is. I shuddered to think that when this guy looks in the mirror, what he sees is his sister's brother and a "personality" (his word) with more than a million followers. If that's who he thinks he is, he is merely a shadow of himself.
Who you are - it can't be defined by the exterior. It can't be defined by the connections you have, the things that you do, or even the difference you make. We are too quick to define ourselves by this sort of thing. It's deeper than that. You are deeper than that. You are more than your head or your hands could ever accomplish, although it's important to give these gifts to the world. You are, at your core, what your heart is, which is the place out of which you give any gifts at all.
And this world needs you to be that. I...need you to be that. I need you to be everything you are created to be because it gives me the space to be everything I am created to be. Our lives are woven inextricably together, whether we talk every day or we've never met. What you're doing...what I'm doing...who we both are...it's part of this divine moment.
If you don't know who you are, find out. Ask the question. Search your heart. Search your spirit. Don't be afraid of the answer. Most of us are afraid to hear the whisper that we are who we hope we are, or who we think we are. Most of us are afraid that our worst fears might be confirmed, but at least with God, that's never the case. It's your greatest hope that will be affirmed. He would never call you the things you call yourself when no one's listening; He will always call you redeemed, beloved, beautiful. And He will call you His.
It sounds all well and good to say pithy Christian-sounding things, but never at the high cost we often pay for such things. It does matter Whose you are, but it also matters who you are. Be you.
For the love of God, be you.