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“Who am I?”
It’s the title of a soul-searching Broadway song.
It’s a question we all ask ourselves at some point in life.
It’s a question for which you need an steadfast answer.
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; (John 13:3)
That verse has always impressed me. Jesus was facing His most difficult trial, but He knew where He came from and where He was going. There’s comfort in having an identity, a purpose in life. That identity and purpose is what we all seek. Those who don’t have it are either listless and uncaring or frantically searching for answers.
That verse reminds me of a story…
(I’ll tell an abridged version.)
Once there was a rabbi who lived during the Roman occupation of Jerusalem. On his way home from the synagogue one evening, he was so absorbed in his recitation of the Scriptures that he missed his usual route home. Instead, he came upon a Roman garrison, where a guard was stationed to keep watch. All of a sudden, the rabbi was woken from his thoughts by a booming voice, asking him, ‘Who are you, and what are you doing here?’
The rabbi, in typical Jewish fashion, thought a bit, then replied with a question of his own. ‘What do you get paid?’
The guard, taken aback, replied sarcastically, “Five drachmas a week, Jew. What is it to you?’
The rabbi replied, ‘I’ll pay you double if you’ll stand outside my house and ask me those same questions every morning.’
“Who are you, and what are you doing here?”
After we talked about this little story in church, I put those questions on our church sign. I’m usually the one who changes the quotes on the church sign, and I’m always looking for thought-provoking things to use. I abhor clichés, and I want something serious enough to provoke thought. Those questions certainly are thought-provoking, and I thought that anyone with an ounce of sense would understand the deeper meaning.
Imagine my surprise when several months later, my mom happened across an interesting picture on Facebook – a picture of our church sign, with my quote on it! The lady who had posted it was actually slightly offended and made some remark about not wanting to attend that church. *groan* I just don’t even…
But back to the questions. I have an answer. Do you?
My answer: I am a child of the Most High God, and I choose to be His servant. My purpose in life is to bring glory to His Name.
Everything I do in life will flow from who I am and what I am doing here. The key is to make sure that what your actions say your purpose is and what your mouth says your purpose is are one and the same.
I have another quote to share with you, this one from Viktor Frankl:
He who knows the why for his existence will be able to bear almost any how.
Who are you? What are you doing here?