>Identity

>I know, I know, it's about a week dated. I just haven't found time to update anything and figured this was worth sharing!

I find myself in North Carolina this morning on a much needed break from Chattanooga and the monotony of the everyday things thereof. I'm sitting in the kitchen of my Aunt and Uncle's house with Lake Norman at my back and a breeze rolling through the leaves and in through the open window beside me, and reaching the conclusion quickly that the most important thing for the mental health of a human being is escape. We have to get out of the little boxes into which we are confined by schedules and cell phones and deadlines and, believe it or not, our friends, in order to figure out exactly what it is that makes us tick. We crowd ourselves with things hoping that the more stuff we pack into our surroundings the closer to what people for centuries have referred to incorrectly as enlightenment we become, when in actuality it just sparks a deep insatiable lust for more of that stuff... because it provides a comfortable mask to what the real issue at the core is.

We are scared of who we are.

One of the most basic of all of our problems is not a monetary or existential one, but a relational one: we have no relationship with ourselves, as it is one of the most terrifying relationships imaginable to a human being. It scares us so much that we run around stuffing so many things between the time that we wake and the time we lie down to sleep that we don't have time to deal with ourselves. When there is so much noise around you that you can't even hear yourself think (and by that I mean there is enough around you to occupy your mind with external things) there is no way you can actually know yourself.

If I were to ask you, "who are you?" would you know how to answer? I wouldn't want a list of attributes or accomplishments, because that stuff is nothing more than would start a pissing match. I am more interested in "what do you think about when there is nothing around you but a breeze and you hear nothing but your own heartbeat?"

That is a lot more scary of a question, because most of the time you will find you know very little about who you actually are. The moment you start defining yourself by external things is the moment you are in desperate need of some change.

Another point of view, just something to consider after figuring out who you think you are, is to figure out who others think you are. It requires brutal honesty and mental preparation for intense disappointment. Think about interactions you have with other people, the way they react when you walk into a room, their body language as they talk to you. Are you holding people past when they are inching their way to the door? Do people walk away when you approach them?

There is all of this and more to be worried about, if you're worried about such things. However, we have an out that has been presented to us, and that is for us to place our identities in somebody else. Those that have accepted the task are, according to 1 Corinthians 12, the body of Christ. We are His hands and his feet and His eyes and ears... basically we are not our own. When people see us, they don't see a person... they see an extension of who Christ is. If they don't like that, their qualm is not with you, it is with someone who will not be shaken by man's opinion of Him.

The best part? Christ is not exclusive. He is not some club for which you have to apply and wait with white knuckles for your acceptance. Instead, all who call on His name to be saved will be. It's as easy as that. It is amazing how quickly it will make the individual seem a little more insignificant than if we were left to our own devices.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.