November 25, 2008

Who Am I: Answered by Casting Crowns

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You're

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who Am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who Am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

November 24, 2008

Who Am I?: Thoughts from Scripture

I came across this passage a few days ago. It totally blew me away.
Daniel 9: 20-23
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Isreael, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, "O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.

At the beginning of your pleas a word went out. You are greatly loved. Isn't that amazing? Daniel enjoyed such a close relationship with God that He was always by Daniel's side.

But keep reading:
Daniel 10: 10-11
And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.

"Man greatly loved" is almost Daniel's name, his definition. It describes the most important part about him.

So maybe A. W. Tozer was right. What we believe about God is the most important thing about us. That still doesn't answer my questions about the mystery of humanity: how we're all created in the image of God, but we are all different, but it doesn't seem to matter any more.

Check back tomorrow for the conclusion.

November 23, 2008

Who Am I?: My thoughts

"Be yourself" they say. Do they realize how difficult that is?

I don't want to be merely composed of my ideas or actions. It doesn't make sense to me for my definition to be encapsulated in the things I love.

I desire to be appreciated for who I am. But who am I? Thinking about it doesn't seem all that encouraging. I know I'm a sinner, yet a redeemed one. I can be confident of God's love, but that's not because of me. It's all Him. His grace- not my delightful personality or my own thoughtfulness for others.

Isn't there something that makes me myself and not anyone else? Or are the differences I see non-essential characteristics?

Maybe I don't need to discover myself. Maybe it's only my pride that makes me want to be unique. How can I know?

Tomorrow, look at another view of what defines a person.

November 22, 2008

Who Am I?: Quotes

People are different. But why? Is the only distinguishing factor between us the things that show on the outside? Our looks, our actions, our likes?

Or is there something, deep inside of us, that is unique? How can we know who we truly are?

Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote: The things that we love tell us what we are.

A.W. Tozer held that “What we believe about God is the most important thing
about us.”

Or what about this quote from an article called Names and Labels on Boundless?

As for me, you can post labels on my forehead that are accurate so far as they go. Male. 5'11". Writer. 31 years old. They help the advertisers know if I'm a candidate to buy an MP3 player, and help you decide if you'll regard me as friend or commodity.

But do they begin to describe who I am?

"If I label you, it doesn't begin to do you justice," you might say, in your more charitable moments. "So I'll name you George Wylie Halitzka, Jr.1 I call you by your dreams, your frustrations, your idiosyncrasies. I acknowledge your fears and pleasures, knowledge and ignorance, strengths and weaknesses. I call you George."

It seems to say that a name reaches into the depths of a person's being.

Who's right?

To be continued...
Part 2

November 2, 2008

The English Language: breathtakingly complex, yet undeniability imperfect.

Reading in Lamentations 1: 16-17, I was amazed by the beauty of the poetry. What must the passage have been like in its original language?

"For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears;
for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my spirit;
my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed.

Zion stretches out her hands, but there is none to comfort her;
the Lord has commanded against Jacob that his neighbors should be foes;

Jerusalem has become a filthy thing among them."

What sorrow it describes! Yet even with English's adaptability, some ideas can't be communicated by words alone.

I never have found the perfect quote. At best I have been able to find a string of quotations which merely circle the ineffable idea I seek to express.
-Caldwell O'Keefe

For that I'm glad. Even though language is so vast and powerful, able to incite a war yet also melt a heart, it can still not capture the essence of every idea, for ideas transcend the limits of language. It's mind-boggling to think of infinity.