Read this the other day on A New Life Emerging:

“You don’t see things as they are, you see things as you are.”

The sentiment of Rick’s writing is that we tend to project upon a particular situation OUR perceived reality, based upon who we are. My problem at the moment is that I’m not really sure who I am. At least in a spiritual sense.

In life we tend to define ourselves, on a very surface level, by WHAT we do. What’s usually the first question we ask someone we just met? “So, what do you DO?” Ah, you’re a student, accountant, teacher, whatever. Ok, that gives us a starting point. We assume, some of the time incorrectly, that what a person does really does define them because they are doing what they want to do, or at least have some interest in. I can’t imagine myself as an accountant, or a doctor, a banker, or any other occupation where I could make good money. No, I have to work in video production. But what does that tell you ABOUT me? Not much. However, WHAT I do seems to satisfy the depth of your interest in me, and I in you.

But on a spiritual level, a deeper level, who am I? At one time I thought I knew, again on a surface level. Not too long ago I was reading a blog that had a discussion going on between Protestants and Catholics about Purgatory. While the topic was way beyond my ability to join in and discuss (and, quite frankly, just beyond my interest level of where I am in my journey as a Christ Follower) I did make a comment. I replied to a comment about the use of some Scripture in talking about Purgatory, and how it looked to me to be taken out of context, or at least reading more into the text. That person’s reply invoked the writings of a couple of Saints and their take on it. My final reply said, “I’m a Baptist, and not at all familiar with the various Saints…” I wrote “I’m a Baptist…” as if that explained everything. And perhaps it did to the writer. But the more I thought about it, the less sure I was it said anything. My faith is a living faith. My hope is a living hope. And if that is the case, then it should be growing and changing. It should be dynamic and fluid, while still built upon the Rock. The more I learn about being a child of God, the more I should be changing into His image, not changing Him into mine. “You don’t see things as they are, you see things as you are.” And that applies to God Himself. I can’t define my spiritual being in terms of Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Traditional, Contemporary, Emerging, or anything else for that matter. Paul said, “There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” I must define my spiritual being on who God says I am. “Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us.” And I’ve got to learn what that means.

His peace on you all.