Thursday, February 7, 2013

WHO AM I?

I believe that every human being is a unique individual, because I believe that three elements go into making up who one is, and no two people will ever share those three elements precisely:
  1. One's innate, God-given talents and abilities;
  2. One's interests; and
  3. One's experiences in life.
No matter where one is in life, one can thoughtfully check out those three elements in order to get an idea of what one's role is meant to be in life. Make no mistake about it, every single person has a place in God's universe that no one else can possibly fill. Some of us may not discover until we're quite old what we should be doing with our lives, while others are fortunate enough to get an indication much earlier, and can pursue God's will for their lives for a much longer time. However, for those (like me) who don't seem to find their way until much later in their lives, there is an upside: The experiences one gains along the way --- but we'll go into that in a second.



Here are some questions I may ask myself in order to find My Way, some pointers toward That Way:


My Talents and Abilities

What am I good at? Not what do I think I should be good at, but what do I actually have a talent for doing? Can I cook? Can I draw? Am I able to make people feel at ease and open up to me? Can I express myself well? What, really, and truly, do I seem to have natural talents and abilities to do?


My Interests

What am I interested in? Again, let's not talk about what anyone says that I should be interested in, but what am I really interested in?  What kinds of music do I really like? Art? Do I enjoy meeting new people? Do I like to travel? Do I enjoy experiencing new things? Am I stimulated and excited by being in dangerous situations? What things really get my juices flowing?


My Experiences

What have I experienced in life that seemed to make no sense at all? Things that it seems I could or would have been better off not experiencing? What did I learn from those situations that I could not have learned in any other way? Who are some of the people I've met and interacted with, that I'm actually better off for having met, or who are better off for having met me?


Those are just a few of the questions that I can ask myself in order to assess just Who I am, and what my mission in life should be. And, I'm sure, it's never too late to discover that mission and pursue it.

I suggest that, for at least a little while, you might want to think deeply about these questions each night just before you go to bed. Some of you might want to take a few moments to explore just one of the three elements at a time; others may want to assess two or more elements. Whatever works for you. The only thing I will suggest here, though, is that believers might do well to begin each nightly session by reviewing what St. James said in my favorite passage of Scripture, James 1:5. No, I'm not going to tell you what he says; find your Bible, dust it off, and look it up for yourself.