I originally posted this on my xanga (yes, my xanga… oh, the good old days) on January 11, 2006. I was looking through my posts for something of substance and found this piece. I’m going to post it in its entirety then comment on what has changed, my thoughts on my thoughts, etc.
Original Post starts here:
Who Am I?
How do you answer that question?
By what you do? By what class/area/country/region/whatever you’re in? By what you like? By what you look like? What you think you look like? What you think? What you eat? (then tonight I’m a chocolate bar and a glass of orange juice…)
So. How do you define yourself? I remember I made a creative post a while ago saying the important question is not WHO you are but WHOSE you are… but the thing is, I don’t think constantly “I am God’s”… I wish I could… I really wish I could…
I like what all of you said when you commented on my last post. All very kind and encouraging. Thanks Kari, Andrew, Emily, Lindsay (for both : ) ) and Ashley… all so great…..
I liked what all of you said. But one person said something that stuck out in my head:
“well, who is the real me? is it the me I used to be or the me I am now?” And I’ve come to the conclusion that that was me then, this is me now, they’re both the real me. People are constantly growing and changing.
Two months ago… I was Evan. Today I’m Evan. And next year I’ll be Evan (unless I change my name to Jehosaphat… or Enrique)
I am constantly on a journey of self-discovery. You know how in the sixties and even now, hippies and other people went away to “discover themselves”… unfortunately they often also discovered sex and drugs…
I think that would be cool. To go away for a week, a month, a year, and go travelling, stay in a cottage or a hut or a monestary (Two good books to read, Through Painted Deserts: Finding God on the Open Road by Donald Miller and Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land through the Five Books Of Moses by Bruce Feiler)
When you get away from everything you know, do, and everyone you know and just drop everything and travel away from your current life with no plans, no schedules, no hurry, no worry- just living- you really discover yourself…
Donald Miller’s book is about him and a friend travelling through America, meeting with strangers and friends and experiencing life and travel and God and what He does and says through different people and experiences. I would love to go out and do what they did. (Especially because they did it in a Volkswagon Bus… Volkswagon Bus = Dream Car!!!!) It really makes you rethink your beliefs and life.
Walking the Bible follows Bruce and friends retracing the steps of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and everyone in between, picking up from where Noah might have landed and ending with Moses standing on the mountain looking over the Promised Land. It was so cool. I wanted to be there. Meet the people he met. Experience what he experienced. He met Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Greek-Orthodox, and agnostics/atheists/humanists/etc. and discussed the Bible, God, and Truth and everythign in between. It really made me think. Made me rethink. Made me rerethink. There were different views on the Word of God and God Himself that I shook my head at and got mad at and got sad at and thought were cool and thought were weird and… it changed me.
Even… oh what was that book… Purpose Driven Life? Something… Well, I think that author of that book spent forty days in a cabin in the woods alone except for his counselor… and he usually just spent time alone… finding himself…
Why do you think Jesus went away into the wilderness the second he picked up his ministry, being baptized by John? You don’t think that David did some soul searching while he was out in the wilderness fighting bears, watching sheep, and writing psalms? The Psalms! Some of the best written work ever were written by a guy all alone!
I hate being alone. I hate spending quiet times. Maybe because I hate myself? No. I don’t hate myself. I love who I am. Maybe not everything. Not everything I do for certain. But I do love myself. It’s just that I live in an ADD society. We can’t just not do stuff. We always have to be instant messaging, watching TV, listening to Music, doing homework, reading magazines, biking, sleeping, and making a sandwich all at the same time…
I really look up to my friend Brandon, because he meditates, or something like it. See, I can’t do that. When praying, I can’t just sit there, listening to God, even though I know I should… it looks like this…
“Ok God… I’m just going to be quiet now and listen… ok?… ok… … … … … … oh shoot, I still need to do that assignment… oh… I’ll do it in the morning… ok… concentrate… concentrate… concentra… we really should get concentrate juice… it’s cheaper… speaking of cheaper… should I get a guitar or a digital camera… or… ok… quiet… … … … … ….. ………. oh… goodnight.. i’m so tired…. i’ll do this later… night”
I wish I was at the point where I could just forget everything and focus on God. Whenever I try, I just focus on myself. I focus on my mistakes… i just… darn… I’M DOING IT RIGHT NOW… LOL… sigh…
Anyway.. this post went way off course. Bunny trails anyone?.. Basically… it’s this…
I don’t know myself that well. I wish that I could go travelling through Europe with friends or by myself and “discover myself”… I wish that I could focus on God more than myself… You got all that God?
Except God is not a fairy godmother or a genie… thank goodness. If He always gave us what we wanted… well… it would be chaos and anarchy!!!! yay!!! Thank God we have a God who has a Plan that’s Great and Good and filled with Love and Blessings and Grace and everything GOOD!!!
So God… please hold me and break me… mold me and make me more and more like you… i want to worship you… and please help me understand who You are, who I am, who You want me to be, and how I can be more like you. Let this be my prayer, and the prayer of all the seekers and searchers out there… Amen.
Hmmm… Who Am I? Good question. I really don’t know. That still hasn’t changed. But a few things have changed. I do like being by myself now, but only because of my ongoing battle with depression. I like it like a man likes drugs– instant gratification, ongoing grief. I like to be alone, but I like myself better after I’ve been with people.
I do agree you can “discover yourself” when you go off by yourself– but I have found that even more, you find yourself through action, in community, etc. You shouldn’t define yourself by what you do or where you are, but that is all a part of it. I am more myself when I do the things I like, when I am with the people I like– I am more myself when I involve myself with the things that are involved with “myself.”
It’s like CS Lewis wrote- “Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbour; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.” Likewise, you mustn’t wish to be “that” person- be “that” person and you will grow into it, like putting on a jacket too big for you- eventually you will grow into it.
I feel like there is a jacket for me– I’ve outgrown one I already had for years and right now I’m naked, or at least cold, without a jacket. But there’s one out ther for me, I’ve just got to put it on and wait until I grow into it.