June 30, 2008

Who Am I?

I read two things this morning that got me thinking ...

A Nietzsche quote (he is so quotable, and tho he didn't understand what Jesus and his disciples was really about, he was so right-on in many of his comments on Christians and humanity) -

"We are unknown, we knowers, to ourselves ... Of necessity we remain strangers to ourselves, we understand ourselves not, in our selves we are bound to be mistaken for each of us holds good to all eternity the motto, 'Each is the farthest away from himself'--as far as ourselves are concerned we are not knowers."

This was in context with the subject of a book Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book - that we can learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light-years away, than we presently know about ourself, even though we've been stuck with ourself all our life.

And I read James 1, and paraphrasing here, verses 22-24 -
"You listen, but you do not act upon what you read and hear ... Hearing and not doing is like looking at yourself in a mirror, and after walking away you immediately forget what kind of person you are ..."

I've lately been reading in both Numbers and Deuteronomy and see how ridiculous the Israelites were! So many times in frustration, God wanted to wipe them out! They 'saw' so much, and yet in the next instant would forget and grumble and live wrongly. If they, like children, had so much of God's personal attention and guidance, and saw so many miraculous things on a daily basis, can't 'grow up' into a mature faith - how can we?

They wandered the desert for 40 years, killing off a generation and growing up a new generation. Before they were to enter the new land, God did not want them to melt into the surrounding cultures. He wanted them to know who they were and not forget. How did he do that? He gave them rhythmical calendar celebrations and lots of visuals and imagery and ritual/tradition to instill into their lives so they would remember and not forget who they were/are in God.

We too can get so caught up in our current culture and learnings and not know who we are. How best to remember who we are? First: know and believe that God loves me first as I am, and that He desires a relationship with me. Then act on that!

The very nature of love means choice. Choice means I need to know something (or someone), so I can make good choices. But there's so much to know! I boil it all down to simply going about my days in love with God. The same tools God gave the Israelites, I have for my use too. I use the calendar days and all the connected stories of so many who have lived in love with God. If God was there for them in their midst, then He's going to be here for me today and tomorrow. I can know who I am, and live better ... live fully alive! live more whole.
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