I visited a friends house today, to water the lawn and feed the animals while they were on holidays.
It was a lovely environment to ponder, maybe all the more because it wasn’t my lawn, wasn’t my dog and as it turns out all their chickens had already died long ago. Not my house and yet as i threw the stick for the dog the umpteenth time I felt a real sense of peace.
I have been thinking about Identity a lot of late and it occurred to me that very often i preach about that exact topic
The fundamental…. Who Am I ? which is ever so quickly accompanied by…and Why am I here?
I think I have been unpacking this for the past 20 years in one way or another (perhaps longer )
Outside of Christ our “Who am I?” is answered by our family of origin. By word and or deed or omission of such we imbibe a sense of who we are in the very early years of our lives. It is spoken over us , enacted and parodied into our lives and ingrained on a recording that chimes into our minds and spirits for years to come.
“Your special / Important / stupid / wrong / ugly / pretty / smart / inconsequential ” and so the list goes on. The play list, even if it is generally positive is all a bit twisted and bears very little connection, in realty to you yourself.
Outside of Christ the “Why am I here?” is derived from the way those around us including our culture and society accept or reject us and all the myriad of variables that make up our personal character. Circumstances and events can silently and otherwise imprint us with wrong beliefs about our purpose. “I am the black sheep of the family / the good one / everyone picks on me / princess / just a boy / sex object / work horse ” How many who have suffered abuse struggle with feelings that somehow they were not worth any better or that they contributed or even deserved their treatment? Horrifically too many.
And then there is Christ. In him we find the true image and representation of our Identity and Purpose.
He says “You are My beloved child”
He says ” You are planned and purposed”
If only we could fully grasp the enormity of it all. That process of discovery is the ongoing work of sanctification.
And as i watered the lawn i pondered and searched my brain for an analogy to describe what is the eschatological tension between the already complete “IT IS FINISHED ” work of the cross; as it butt up against my sometimes drab and less than ALL THAT life .
Now given that any analogy is just that…doomed to being flawed ;
what came to mind was this….
Imagine that I put a BILLION $ dollars in your bank NOW. (That’s the Jesus died on the cross and reconciled you to himself in the Father now and for ever and for all time analogy bit . )
So if i put a Billion dollars in your bank account right now …
How many people could live As if they had always been a Billionaire ??
I suspect no one could.
No doubt most of us would have no trouble diving straight away into spending money ..but that in itself remains a far cry from living without any baggage. To live as if you had never been financially poor. As if there had never been any lack in your life.
And yet this is what Christ has done for us in the emotional spiritual and physical world. He has filled our account ...as if we had never sinned. (and that is the sanctified bit! He has absolved us of all guilt, obligation or punishment.)
Now the tension is to ask the Holy Spirit to help us and remind us each day to Live the revelation of that truth.
He says you are my beloved and indeed you (and I) always have been…Loved
The tension is to grow all the more in that revelation and live as if it has always been so. Because from Gods perspective…it has.
I look forward to growing more and learning more of the Holy Spirits revelation that i may day by day live in the largeness of what Christ has done. Not to love and desire to be a Billionaire but to know that the love of Jesus is without limit in our lives
P.s and this cow