What's it All About?
Thoughts from Pastor Scott...
One of the eternal questions for all of humanity is "Who am I?" Am I the person I see in the mirror or am I the person people tell me I am? I often wonder whether I will ever be able to reconcile these internal nagging thoughts. They have at times consumed me and led me to question the very gifts and talents I possess. I must admit, I have been asking these questions of myself lately as I look to the future, both as a man of God and as a pastor of a church. What makes the difference between being a truly significant person and just another plodding average person? How do I balance the knowledge of my sinfulness and the power of God working through me? I was sitting with a friend recently talking about this issue when he reminded me of a poem by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and Lutheran Pastor, written from prison prior to being executed by the Nazi's.
Am I really all that which other men tell of? Or am I only what I myself know of myself? Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage, Struggling for breath, as though hands were compressing my throat, Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voices of birds, Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness, Tossing in expectation of great events, Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance, Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, Faint, and ready to say farewell to it all?
Who am I? This or the other? Am I one person today and tomnorrow another? Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others, And before myself a contemptibly woebegone weakling? Or is something within me still like a beaten army, fleeing in disorder from victory already achieved? Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer March 4, 1945
Bonhoeffer was a man of tremendous influence and a powerful man of God. His writings and faithfulness to the truth of God have had a powerful impact on the life of the church and the lives of those who seek to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I am amazed at the depth of his personal despair and internal wrestling. And yet, this is a man who is considered one of the greatest Christian witnesses of the 20th Century. Then I read the last line and I understand...My worth and value as a person can be understood in the light of who God has made me, not in my own understanding or the view of others!
As we grow together, may God reveal to each of us the truth of our value and character from His own perspective. We are valued by God and that is the only truth we need. Just some thoughts...