Monday, March 28, 2011

What do you want to do when you grow up?

Small children often hear that question.  Currently my almost five-year-old GRANDson wants to drive a tow truck.  Once in a while I hear adults say ever since they were a young teen they knew what they wanted to do.

But I also hear some of my peers still jokingly say they still haven’t figured out what they want to do when they grow up.  I have a hunch that they are confused because they are trying to figure out what they want to do.  And that’s not the first step.

I’ve known for many years what I wanted to do.  And really it hasn’t changed.  But the joy in the doing has changed completely.  Because over the last several years, I’ve learned that who I am is much more important than what I do.  What I do springs from who I am. 

In his book, The Sacred Romance, John Eldridge says, “There is no escaping your identity.  You will not live beyond how you see yourself; not for long.”   That is my experience.  Although I was doing things that I thought were important, it was never enough.  In my thinking someone else could always do it better.  The issue was not what I was doing.  The issue was my identity.  My identity was defined by my doing.  And when my doing was not good enough, neither was I.  It was a vicious circle. 

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…” I John 3:1.  That is my identity.  I am the child of God.  I was born into His family.  I carry His name.  As a member of His family, He gave me gifts; He gave me desires; He consecrated me; I have an inheritance.  About ten years ago these truths became real to me and it changed everything. I have meditated on this truth almost daily since then.  God is bringing a new freedom into my life.

Last summer I pounded the proverbial stake into the ground.  We were camping in the mountains and I was enjoying the warm summer morning with my cup of coffee and my Bible.  I was reading Psalm 33.  Verses 13 and 15 stood out, “The Lord looks down from heaven; he see all the children of men … he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds”.  This led me to some questions.  When God sees me does he see someone who is living out of who God created her to be?  And when He notes my deeds are they in line with the heart God fashioned in me?   I knew some of the answer was yes and that was encouraging.  I also knew I still needed to grow.  And that is encouraging too.

How I got to that point was a process.  My answers would have been different ten years ago.  The first and most important step was embracing my identity as the beloved child of God.  I needed to learn that my being was the most important thing.  The next step flowed naturally from that and I continue to work on this.  I needed to identify the lies that caused me to believe that my doing (not my being) was the most important thing.  And I needed to replace them with truth from the Word.  That in turn allowed me to see more clearly the desires that God had placed in my heart.  My doing began to flow from my being.  This has changed everything.  What I want to do is to live out of who God created me to be.

“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become the children of God”.   John 1:12

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