I don’t know who it was that mentioned this story to me, but I thought it was very amusing. George Bush (the older one) was at a nursing home during a time he was on the presidential campaign trail. While he was there greeting the residents, he leaned over to an older man in a wheel chair and said, “do you know who I am?”
The elderly man in the wheel chair said, “no, but if you go to the front desk, one of the nurses can help you”.
So, who are you? Be careful. The way you answer that question could actually start making you feel a bit uncomfortable. Why?
Because if you define yourself based on any outward circumstances what happens when those circumstances change? How would you then define yourself? Often, its in those times, when someone finds them self in a new role in life, they will say something like “I feel lost”.
So, without anyone else around you right now, if you were asked the question “who am i?”, would any of your answers be listed below:
I am a successful businessman as seen by my big and beautiful house in this upscale neighborhood
I am a successful man because I actually have quite a lot of money in my retirement accounts
I am a successful man my age because I am currently driving a _________
I am a person that gets people attention because I am very attractive
I am a boss at the company I work for and I have ____ people who report to me
It’s not that being in any of these circumstances is a bad thing. On the contrary, there is positives to each of them.
Well, to be balanced, let me give just a few more ways that someone could define themselves–maybe these would reflect what you may be thinking:
I am not a good person because I am not currently working
I am not a good person because I am not attractive
I am not a good person because I have a drinking problem
I am not a good person because I missed my latest sales goal
I am not a good person because my kids are frequently in trouble
Again, in all these responses to the question, “who am I?” someone is defining them self by their current circumstances.
Here’s my point in all this: circumstances change. If we define ourselves by our current circumstances, whether they are good or bad, things will eventually change and so will the way we view our self. In actuality, we become like a floating object tossed about by the waves: good today, bad tomorrow happy today, sad tomorrow- confident today, insecure tomorrow.
For me, the way I am settling in on the question of “who am I?’ is my focus on simply saying “I am born again- a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ”. Its interesting that I wrote the word “simply” in the last sentence because that bottom line statement is true, however the depths of amazement that come from my identity in Christ goes on and on. Being related to the living and loving God is no small thing. I hope you never see it in that way. It is truly awesome. And you know what, my circumstances will change, but my relationship with Him won’t.
When things are going wonderfully for me and my family, I can express my gratitude for these good times, and I can find great joy knowing that I am a child of God and will be with Him forever.
When things are not going well for me or my family, I can trust Him to help us get through these tough times, but the bottom line is that I am still a child of God.
Which perspective in life (finding your identity in your circumstances or in your relationship with God) do you want to have? Which perspective on life do you think will bring you more inner and lasting peace?
Who are you?