Merlin talked to The School for the Spiritually Misfit (SSM) this week about our identity. How Paul speaks in Ephesians of our identity being “in Christ.” We’re exploring what that means and how our identity leads us to our destiny.
I’ve been pondering the disconnect between my actual identity (I’m pretty sure I have very little idea of what this is) and my current understanding of my identity (which is imperfect and incomplete). Talk about feeling confused. It reminds me of Ice Age 2 where Ellie, the woolly mammoth didn’t realize she was a woolly mammoth because she had become convinced that she was in fact a possum. Sounds ridiculously impossible, but not if you’ve never seen your own reflection or bothered to examine yourself and those around you.
Anyway, the identity thing, and realizing that it directly correlates to my future (which believe it or not I never actually pondered before), struck a huge chord inside me and I’ve been pondering its various applications in my life since yesterday morning.
Then, while I was on the second leg of my run this afternoon, out of breath but somehow full of energy and life, I looked up to the sky and just praised God. “I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! And I love this so much!” I shouted to him. Being outdoors, running like I meant it, living fully in each moment, and experiencing a sudden clarity of being — it was so enthralling.
I live for moments of passion like that. I fear I don’t feel them often enough these days in the cloud of skepticism and apathy that lately tends to befall my mindset.
But as I was jogging up that hilly dirt trail, in the pink-cool of dusk, I was thinking: surely coming to this place in my life could be no accident. Somehow it all seems so planned; otherwise how could I grow, change, learn and experience all the things I need to in order to take the next step? And yet, I haven’t even recognized that is what was happening to me, except in hindsight.
How could I be so confused about who I am, what I am, and where I am going, yet somehow magically find that following each trial and hardship I’ve come closer to who I think I might have been all along?
It’s like losing your trail map and feeling like you are walking around in circles, only to discover when you reach the end of the trail that you were headed the right direction the whole time. Or acting and feeling like an ugly duckling only to discover you have always been a swan and you only needed to recognize it.
The laws of nature tell us there’s no way that anything organized can come from chaos without some catalyst. That’s why I refuse to believe that that life is just random with no grand designer.
If I didn’t have a built-in identity, one that I am perfectly suited to and is perfectly suited to me, I’d be running around doing a hell of a lot of drug– hehe, oops. I mean — If I didn’t have a built-in identity… I’d have no concept of what fulfillment felt like. Only having achieved something innately meaningful, predefined and written on the soul’s record as meaningful, something that strikes the core of the spirit, is there a deep sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, completeness, spiritual orgasm (yikes, did I just use that word in a God post?) call it what you will. If you’ve ever felt that, you know what I mean.
So, running today was one of those moments. Not like a feeling of accomplishing a physical goal or a personal goal or anything superficial like that. But more of a massive internal realization that I was meant for something and I am irreversibly headed toward it regardless of my daily confusion. Like a tractor beam that has locked on to the starship Enterprise haha.