I have come to the realization that the last post could use some expanding. That, and I feel like I’m going to explode if I don’t get some of these thoughts out of my head!
You can always be who you are in any situation.
That could mean anything. Stand up and fight. Run away in terror. Laugh. Listen. Stomp your feet. Cry out in anger, or in agony. Show undeserved kindness. Crack a joke. Put your hands in your pockets. Any human expression could be you.
Being you is not always taking the path of least resistance. Just because it feels like you doesn’t mean it is you.
Being who you are is telling the truth.
Life is not a gameshow. If there is no good answer to the question the moment is asking you, you don’t have to answer before the clock runs out. But you can always tell the truth. You can always be yourself. But I repeat myself. If someone is asking you a question that you are not the answer for you don’t have to make one up.
No one else can tell you who you are. Except God. And He hasn’t written it down anywhere. Except on your heart.
Reading God’s writing, the kind on the heart, is not like reading a book. It is much less explicit and cannot be grasped in a single reading. The writing takes form over time. It’s like invisible ink coming into focus. And the focus is not in the form of sentences. It is as if a question were roared in the halls of antiquity, and God said, “To answer that I am whispering a story.”
You can always be who you are where you are.
Changing careers won’t help. Changing churches won’t help. Changing friends won’t help. Changing spouses won’t help.
When you be, some things will go well for you, and some things won’t. This is the epic adventure.
In an epic adventure, the character sets out on a journey. He overcomes foes. He sustains losses. When things go well he presses on. When things go foul he presses on. The journey is over when he returns home, tells his story, and sees what everyone thinks about it. That’s when it’s over. When he goes back home. When he tells everyone and sees what they think about it. He’s no longer living the adventure at that point. He’s no longer living his life. He’s talking about the life that’s over. When he goes back.
Who you are cannot be expressed in a moment. It takes an entire story to express. This is because you don’t start perfect. You’re being perfected. You’re not finished. But I repeat myself.
The path of perfection starts at yourself. It ends at your tombstone. The hope of perfection is not that you get there and enjoy the rest of your time on earth in a perfected state. The hope is that when someone reads the last word and closes the lid they will say, “That was a good story.”
Being perfected means being finished. Nothing else. There is no remedy for imperfection but continuation. None.
And repentance? Repentance is getting back to being yourself. It is getting back to telling the truth. But I repeat myself again.
You will not become yourself by working on yourself.
Every action you take has consequences. Being yourself is not your defense. It is your charge.
The adventure you are on, your epic life, is not just for you. It is your contribution to the larger story, the larger answer. It is an offering you present that says, “This also is who God is.”
You cannot start the journey, cannot live an epic life, cannot be a good story, until you have an inkling of who you are.
You are not your personality. You are not a collection of wounds and wins. What you are is one thing. It is like the introduction in Spanish: “¿Como se llama? Me llamo _____,” which translates, “How are you called? I am called _____.” You are called. What you are is what God calls you. It is not what you call yourself. It is not what someone else calls you. You are called something. Life begins there. And more importantly, life finishes there.
Who can give a man this, his own name? God alone. For no one but God sees what the man is… It is the blossom, the perfection, the completeness, that determines the name: and God foresees that from the first because He made it so…George MacDonald
It is not easy to be yourself. There are many diversions and temptations to be someone else, and many counterfeits are offered.
The easy thing is to be yourself. But this is a privilege only offered to those believing God is telling the truth and deciding that they will, too. There will be all kinds of things, good and bad, pleasure and pain, that you will get to enjoy and suffer when you give up on being someone else, when you give up trying to be a you that you read about somewhere besides on your own heart—whether in a book or on the faces of others or from a painful chapter early in your story.
The most epic adventure of your life comes when you simply be yourself.