07 January 2013

The Subjugation of Identity

Been thinking about this a lot lately. It doesn't have much to do with a lot of other thinks I've been thinking. I guess that makes it semi-unique.

As I've been preparing for the trip, I've been pondering the idea of personality and significance. It seems to me that idolatry could be defined in identifying yourself with a false, external standard. Before you jump on me for that statement, let me explain.

When I was in speech and debate,a large part of the way I identified myself was that I was in speech in debate. Lady J Whimsy, extraordinary homeschooled forensic in a world full of ordinary teens. What made me extraordinary was not my skill in speech, but rather the fact that I did it at all. This identifier quickly became problematic when once I was done competing.

Or more recently, it was Lady J Whimsy, missionary anticipate. I was the one leaving for six months. This also was problematic when I reached Perth, where everyone had left friends and family behind.

Or take a rich man from near my old job. He drives a Mercedes-Benz, throws money around like he owns it, and surrounds himself with the equally prosperous. If, hypothetically, this man were to lose his fortune, he would have a wee little identity crisis trying to cope with his new situation.

The identity crisis. The day you wake up and realize you're not the person you thought you were, hoped you were, wanted to be. When you realize that what you thought made you unique was imaginary, irrelevant, obsolete. When you're self-worth comes crashing down around you're ears, where do you turn to?

In all likelihood, yourself. You go to find yourself. You introspect, or you flee it entirely.

But wherever you find your self-identity, it's still idolatry. If your value comes from your job, your boyfriend, your conservative politics or your skill as a debater, you are committing idolatry.

Why? Because we are fearfully and wonderfully made by an omnipotent Creator who designed us by hand. To say that anything beside our identity as God's creation, imago dei, gives us value us to say that God's word is insufficient. That His love isn't good enough, that He isn't truly omniscient. After all, if God can be wrong about your value as a person, He can be wrong about anything.

I've been thinking about another reason we seek validation from something other than God's promise that He loves us.

I would submit, dear reader, that a part of us is terrified of our identity in Christ. If we truly have been crucified with Christ, if it truly is Christ dwelling in us and not our self, then are we truly ourselves?

Why would God say to abandon all the things we hold dear, those things that we choose to identify with, if we really were fearfully and wonderfully made?

Why would God create me and then call me to be someone else?

Truth be told, this post really isn't for you. I strive to be honest, and this is for my benefit, not yours. I am desirous to subjugate my identity to the cross, but I am terrified of the consequences. Will I be myself at the end of my tempering? Will my ness still exist?

The only thing I've come to is this: God created me to glorify Him. That includes my sense of humor, my ill-timed comments, my eclectic taste in music. All of it is ultimately His, and when He calls me to empty my backpack full of junk, dreams and ambitions at His feet, it's not that I or my baggage is useless. It's because He wants to use them too.

I heard this analogy one time. That my ness is like a reed with those little fuzzy things and syrup inside it. That I should empty that stuff so that the Holy Spirit can move through me uninterrupted, but that cleaning will preserve who I truly am.

It is frightening, being in a program whose two goals" to know Him and make Him known" call me ever upward. I am both drawn to and frightened of that call I hear from higher up the mountain pass.

Come, trust your dreams on the altar. Give up your aspirations and desires, your false vanity and false identity, your fears and hopes and future.

Because while I know, intellectually, that they are safer in His hands, I just haven't gotten there yet.


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