Who Am I

07Nov06

So from time to time someone will ask me, “What are you up to?” or “What do you do?” And I have to stop and think. I find that whatever I say I feel that it is deficient, lacking, and generally shallow in all relevant ways. What do I do? Let’s sample:

– I am the IT Specialist and Teacher at Cincinnati Christian Schools
– I am a Pastor of Vineyard Central
– I am a House Church Leader
– I am a Husband
– I am a Daddy

I’m all those things and more (son, brother, nephew, grandson, neighbor). Another way to conceive of such things is to ask, “Where is my primary mission?” I guess this is more to the point.

My identity – the Who Am I question – is a bigger question. Ultimately my identity ought to reside firmly in Christ. My belovedness of God is primary. It is. Though I fully admit I don’t live that way all the time. I don’t rest in my belovedness, instead I squirm in my anxiety and addiction to self.

At the same time, my identity exists in the relationships I have. I read a quote by Bishop Desmond Tutu that was something like, “I am who we are” (I think it was in Phyllis Tickle’s “Prayer is a Place”). I find this deeply compelling. It resonates like a clear bell in my soul. Nor does this contradict my fundamental identity in Christ. My own one-ness in Christ – really my one-ness in the Trinity – means that I am likewise in one-ness with my brothers and sisters. My inherent relationality extends both to the Trinity and to humanity.

My mission – my doing that flows from my being – that seems more ambiguous. Is my primary place of call/ministry/mission at home (certainly arguable), our neighborhood, my work (school), the Vineyard Central network, our house church, or other….? Does it matter? I really don’t know. In some ways I could argue that each of these places are primary places of ministry.

I continue to long for (and work for) an integrated life. A life where the spheres of my world overlap considerably. I want this to happen more and more. I feel like I need a guiding metaphor for my life. Something that pulls in the pieces. I don’t want to imply that I’m living a horribly fragmented life – I think its manageable and doable as is – but it could get better. I’m looking for something that ties life together. I’ve played with the idea of “missionary” or “pastor” or “teacher”, but somehow all those seem lacking somehow. I need something bigger. I’m still wondering, looking, and pondering….

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