It often seems the simplest questions have the most complex answers, if they can be answered at all. With an opening sentence like that you probably guessed I'm going to wax philosophical. And if you did, you are correct. So bail now if you're not in the mood for abstract quandaries.
I'm going to start with something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and that's the second question in my title: Who am I? As part of the “Millennial Generation,” it should come as no surprise that I would be asking myself this question on a daily basis. (Just google “millennial narcissism” and you'll quickly see what I mean. *wink*) Who am I? That is quite the loaded question. Put another way, What makes me me?, the question doesn't get any easier.
- Is it a relational thing? Does who my parents are define me? Who my friends are? Is it where I fall in birth order?
- Is it something intangible, like my hopes, my dreams, my desires? My likes and my dislikes?
- Maybe what defines me are the characteristics you can see. Is it my height or weight or skin color? Is it my stunning blue eyes? (Whoops, narcissism.)
- Could it be the words I say or don't say? The things I do or don't do?
- Maybe I'm thinking about this too hard and it really is as simple as the old adage “You are what you eat.” I hope that's not it because I'd be half a bag of potato chips right now.
I think the answer to the questions in the list above is “Yes, and….” (Though I am partially joking about the potato chips thing.) The answer to the question “Who am I?” must be complex if I've spent the last 30 years with myself and still find it hard to explain.
It dawned on me a few days ago that there is really only one way I want to define who I am. And that is in relation to God. I thought about infants, how their whole world is their mom and/or dad (and/or [insert applicable caregiver here]). What if my whole world centered on my relationship with God? What if I allowed him to help me figure out who I am? (Spoiler: He already knows.) That train of thought ended with, “Who is God?” Now there's a loaded question if ever there was one. There were several train stops between “Who Am I?” and “Who Is God?,” but I'm going to save those for another time. Consider this a springboard launching us into (an amateur) study of who God is in relation to us, and in turn, what that says about not only who I am but who you are.