I am twenty-eight years old, riddled with angst about the person I should be but I’m not, dreams dreamt and not acted on, talents wasted along with time, wondering if the next step will ever seem to take me closer a life embedded in almost subconscious assumptions. Values compromised, stubbornness still in a tenacious grip, and a rather disappointing self-pity often seem to surface in my thoughts.
Quarter life crisis is what they call it. I don’t want to sound self-absorbed, arrogant, or presumptuous…but I realize that’s what I often am.
The problem with my quest for a satisfying identity is that I consistently seek to find it in what I do for living, how I spend my recreational time, what I own and what other people think. Seems like my identity should be driving and molding all of those things, not the other way around. Why do those idols pull at me like a magnet as sources of self-worth, but I only sluggishly turn my attention to my almost-seven-year marriage, my roles as father, son, brother, and service to the poor among us? How often do I find my identity in my faith practice instead of the person of Jesus Christ?
For the love of God, I just realized I think of my Christianity like a hobby instead of the very fibers that are tying me to Jesus.
There’s this nagging truth that as a Christian, what my identity should be is quite simple (if crushingly difficult to attain). I’m supposed to seek the mind of Jesus. I’m supposed to share in his suffering. I’m supposed to love who he loves, act as he acts, and grieve when he grieves.
The church brings me to his table each week, re-presenting his all-sufficient sacrifice to me. I eat his body and drink his blood to be united to him. I remember Jesus poured out and broken for my sin and yours.
Yet I still have a wandering eye for defining who I am.
Christ, have mercy.
I just. Don’t. Get it.
I’m supposed to die, even if to be raised in him (thank God for grace).
My identity, more than anything, is meant to be caught up in his.