I’m not a writer.
Which seems a strange thing to say, since I am here, writing this; and you are there, reading my writing. It’s even stranger when you consider that I write for this blog twice a week, and have a dream of being a successful author in the future. But it’s true. I’m not a writer. It’s just not who I am. And it’s never who I will be.
Let me explain.
As part of some job training recently, I listened to a motivational speaker who had some interesting activities for us during our breaks. She wanted us to sit across from someone, and in one minute say as many “I am a blank” statements as we could think of. Now, I’m young, fairly quick on my feet — and quicker with my tongue — so I filled that minute fairly easily.
“I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a teacher, I am Texan, I am a child-care worker” — positions in relation to others were simple to come up with. “I am a writer, I am a joker, I am a dancer, I am a nerd, I am a singer, I am a pianist” — things I do were easy as well. Labels, positions, descriptions — I could fill several minutes of “I am a blank” statements if I really tried.
But there’s a problem.
Because, in reality, none of those statements are true. None of those are actually who I am.
Because none of them are permanent. They can all be stripped away.
When I change jobs, those change. When I move to another state, those change. When I grow older and my tastes mature, those change. Every one of them can change, slipping through my fingers until they are but a lost memory.
Do I lose myself then?
And that’s a valid question. Because, honestly, so often we as Christians still wrap our identity around earthly people, positions, and places. Sure, we wouldn’t blatantly state that all our lives are tied to one transitory thing; but often we live, we think, we act like it’s true. Our jobs, our titles, our skills — we feel that they make up the essence of who we are, and of what we are doing in this life.
So what happens when they all plummet in slow motion from their precarious perch?
What happens when they all shatter?
When sickness steals your abilities away — and your titles begin to crack. When death whisks away your loved ones — and your relationships begin to splinter. When your jokes are no longer funny, when you miss that promotion, when all you films flop, when your future looks uncertain, when that one acceptance letter never comes, when those children move away, when you miss that catch, when that person leaves you, when you fail that test — and who you thought you were begins to fracture into a thousand sharp shards — what happens then?
When you lose everything, do you lose yourself?
Because it will happen. Everything will change. Not necessarily like that. But it still will. Everything here is transient, passing, simply fading away. These achievements I cling to are just an ice-floe that’s quickly melting, scurrying from this hot and angry ocean. So when all the things I use to describe and label myself disappear — do I disappear as well? Will I drown beneath this roaring sea of uncertainty?
Because I cling to something else than these slippery ice floes of titles.
My identity is fixed upon the Rock.
Because as a Christian, I am not any of my labels. Or rather, I am not just any of my labels. I am not just a writer, I am not just a daughter, I am not just a teacher, I am not just an X,Y,Z.
I am a Christian. Literally, a Christ-follower.
And that, that is the only part of me that is permanent; that is the only part that will last throughout eternity. No tides of time or loss will ever change this. No earthquake of change or fear will cause it to plummet or shatter.
Because everything I am, I am in Him.
In Him, I am a Son (Jhn 1:12) In Him, I am an Inheritor. (Rom 8:17) In Him, I am a king, I am a priest, I am a chose generation. (1 Pet 2:9) In Him, I am beloved, I am cleansed, I am sanctified and holy. When I am found in Him, I have His righteousness. (Phil 3:8)
Because who we are should never be wrapped around our skills and talents. In fact, who we are doesn’t matter much at all. What matters is Who He is, and what He has made us.
Because the minutes of eternity won’t be filled with me describing who I am. I won’t have time for it in the forever, and besides, why would I want to mention something like that? No, every moment of timelessness will be filled with praising Him for His works and His worth.
No, I’m not a writer. I’m just a child who is here to glorify Him. But perhaps I can use my writing to bring praise to Him. I am dead, but Christ liveth in me. (Gal 2:20) So let us look at all our labels and titles and positions and jobs that way. They are merely avenues for us to direct more and more glory to Jesus.
My business while I’m here is to be about Christ’s.
So let us strive to fill every moment of our time here with words and work which glorify Him.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)