Reflecting on me, or properly reflecting on me.
We’re in a world of undefined people. I speak as a man, so I am writing at this moment to men, as I am not confident to speak to women on this subject. What in the heck do I mean by “undefined”?
I use undefined to refer to us as people – not knowing deeply in our heart, from the centre of who we are, “who” we are. It comes across as insecurity, which can present itself as over confidence, self aggrandising and looking for value in external “skins” of materialism, consumerism, stuff, roles, fame, glory, etc. This isn’t new news. Simply look at the phenomena of celebrity through the media or sport, the arrogance of politic, the drunken power of the oligarchy now masquerading as nation state. Simply stated – we as people – especially men – basically have no idea who we are, and why we exist. Therefore, we grope for it in temporal shallow trite ways. We then try and convince ourselves of our identity and worth and remind ourselves (thanks, soccer mom/mum generation!) through rootless messages of ‘being exceptional – being exceptional to the point of confidence through cognitive dissonance… where we hold to our lie, in the face of overwhelming reality, facts and arguments… We believe the norm doesn’t apply, that the normal results, normal ability, normal foibles aren’t true about “me”. We tell ourselves we have so much specialness, worth, value, contribution and that the world will actually miss us when we leave.
This past two and a half years, I’ve spent more time on reflecting upon the reality of my own self, and life. I’ve thought about it for a longer time, but focused here over an extended time. The reality is: I’m normal. Yes, I am imperfect, have foibles, fail, am weak, am not always nice, am capable – but not exceptional…and if I am in one area, I am only okay in most and fail at several. I am not important – no qualifying adjectives allowed (that, very, or others that soften “not important”). I will get old… some think I am now… but will get elderly, and will diminish, and many opportunities are already closed for me, and will die. On the day, or season of my demise and decline – very, very few will notice, or stop, or care. A generation later, I’ll be forgotten, just like my great and great great grandfathers and do not even ask about great or great great uncles, aunts, etc., or 2nd and 3rd cousins. Who?
So is my message we do not matter? Well, ugh, sort of – but that’s not the end. We’re not something because the sun shines our of our butts (sorry, ladies, that was for the men)… but we are special – we are special to the Living God and we have value and worth because we matter to Him and He gives us identity, belonging, family and a purpose. Outside of that and we are left groping for little gods of meaning made of mere wood and stone, straw, sand. BUT in our true identity, beyond the circumstances and fate of the families we’re born into, we have immeasurable worth – but we must always remember that we are but dust and will not last in this world, but in His world, in His home, we will and can live as sons of the King. Tim Keller, noted pastor, church planter, author and speaker, wrote recently something to the effect, “Who dares wake a king at 3 in the morning for a drink of water, other than his child?” Us – that’s who! We are weak, quite helpless really… reality will visit us, if not in our family of origin, in the fate of life. Steve jobs got cancer and died, as do presidents, and tyrants alike, and even holy awesome souls like Mother Teresa.
Remember – you are a moment and gone, but remember who numbers your steps, hair on your head, knew you before you were and will know you eternally. Stand up and be a man, living out of that reality and not fooled by the false messages of a lost, empty meaningless world.