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Who am I?
Am I who the world tells me I am?
Have you ever wondered about who you are and what you’re about? I don’t mean the superficial kind of stuff that we tend to portray to the outside world or on (anti)social media, but who you really and why you do what you do? I do… a lot…
I recently managed to find myself with a significant amount of free time on my hands and so I’ve been thinking about this and trying to come to terms with the man that I am and what I’ve done with the last 20 years of my life and why. I have been told that I’m doing this because I’m getting to the point of life where we men go into the “midlife crisis”. Well if that is true then I’ve been in that stage of life for about 10 years now.
For the most part, I guess this kind of internal conversation could be viewed as a silly waste of time but its one of the places where my mind goes when it isn’t involved in problem solving. I don’t actively seek out these things or ask the questions, my mind goes there on its own. Who am I and what am I about? But more importanter though is the question “why am I thinking about this?”.
I think the answer to that question goes something like this… we only have so many trips around the sun before it’s time to check out and move on to the next life and I don’t want to waste this gift of life that I have and I don’t know when the end is coming. So what is it that I’m supposed to be doing while I’m here circling the sun?
Like most guys, I have always attached my work to my identity and tried to develop my identity through my work. This is a contradiction in my thinking though since I don’t typically respect the labels that people have for themselves but yet here I am defining myself with a label of sorts… I don’t respect people’s labels very often, I respect people’s character. For the most part, I can read people like book and see through the labels. So what does that say about me? I’ve used my profession as a label and as a way to identify myself. I’m a mariner, veteran, welder, machinist, mechanic, business owner, blacksmith, maker… Those titles don’t describe me however, those are job descriptions that we use when digging around on indeed or some other job search website. But, I’ve used them nonetheless to describe who I am.
Most American men do this but not one of those titles or labels matter in life…
But why do I/ we do this? Just my thoughts, but I think that we do this because it’s a feature of waning American culture. Sure, our jobs are important to us as the means through which we provide for our families and for ourselves, and that is important but that doesn’t answer why we derive our identity from our work. Our culture is in decline and to be an American is losing its meaning with every passing day. We no longer have any real identify as a nation because of the growth of technology and because of certain hostile political elements in the world.
We have very little in the way of identity other than the ones that we create for ourselves by making silly choices. I believe that we are culturally numb in a way since everything is so easy for us Americans. Because we don’t have much of a cultural identity so we use a mental image of our job description to help define who we think we are and we buy things that we use to present the world with who, or how, we want the world to view us. Typically, we don’t actually live the life that we are trying to portray, we just want to feel as though we can. It’s an incredibly shallow identity but it’s what we do and I am just as guilty as everyone else.
So back to the question that asked myself earlier. Who am I and what am I about? It’s actually kinda deep to think about since every way that I have of describing myself lists the traits that I possess, interests that I have, or the things that I do but that really doesn’t tell who I am as a person. As I have worked through this line of thought I have come to a point where I can no longer define myself other than to say I’m a human person. And I can go no further in distilling this definition down in terms of our materialist/humanist worldview. I am… what exactly? Why am I here and what am I about?
The materialist/humanist world view is the dominating world view of the planet and it came about during the “Enlightenment Era” where a bunch of dudes with big brains ,and evidently not much else to do, sat around trying to figure out how the world worked without God or anything spiritual. In the materialist/humanist world view all life is viewed as being a form of biological/molecular machines and nothing more, we human persons are the pinnacle of all the biological molecular machines. We are the Rolls-Royce’s of the evolutionary process, the crème-de-la-crème of all biology and the reward for climbing to the top of the randomly driven evolutionary food chain is that everything that humanity has ever achieved or will achieve amounts to nothing. Since the universe will end at some point in the distant future, everything will eventually be destroyed into complete nothingness. In this view, the only thing that exists in the universe is physical matter that which can be quantified, measured, and that which can be detected with our senses. There is no soul and spirituality doesn’t exist. Only physical, not metaphysical. It’s this philosophy that has given us the gems of Darwinian evolution, Social Darwinism, Communism, Abortion, Eugenics, Euthanasia, and Scientism… pretty much everything that is wrecking our world today.
This world view says that humans are the greatest thing that exists, the top dogs of the world. Unless… you aren’t part of the power players or the ruling class or those that believe or think a certain way or are willing to comply with those that do. If you aren’t one of them and you aren’t willing to comply then you are no longer the pinnacle of biology but something less than human and are fit only to serve those in power so long as you are deemed necessary. Once you are no longer deemed needed or compliant then you are shown the exit door to this life and you’re then exterminated. The interesting thing about that, at least in my eyes, is that those who deem themselves more importanter than the rest of human persons will end up having to check out of this life too at some point, since we all die. Talk about a real downer…
Ok… I know what you’re prolly saying, “Nate, where are you going with all of these words?”. Be patient, I’m getting there….
I’ve been going through some things of a personal matter and have been trying to sort stuff out in my head. Turns out that there is quite a bit of sorting that is needed and one of the things that I have been working through is putting my identity into it’s proper place. Everything that I have tried to be in life turned out to be shallow or just a description of my interests and abilities, but never defined who I am. I just can’t get to any definition of my human personhood through out current world view, so I have to look elsewhere and so I turned to the only place where we as people are actually defined and our existence explained; the Bible. Actually, God lead me there and He lead me to people that can help me understand and believe.
In the Bible, we are called beings who were created in order to have a relationship with God. We are told that all of us have immense value. We are told that we are loved and cared for. We are told that the world is broken and that as a result, we are broken as well but that won’t always be the way things are. We can be healed, we can be fixed, and we can have a relationship with the Creator of the universe. We can be part of it all.
Though I believe in God and in Jesus, I struggle with believing these things, more so emotionally rather than intellectually. How could I have worth or be loved immensely. I have emotional scars that prevent me from believing sometimes and then there is the world around me. The humanistic world view that we have all grown up with has damaged my ability to see these things, these truths. To see that we are more than just molecular machines that consume and destroy and who will amount to nothing. We have all been programmed in a way to see ourselves as either being the most super-dooper importantest person ever to exist or as worthless, unwanted, less thans based on our job title, traits, personality, heritage, or political belief.
God doesn’t tell us that in any kind of way. He says that we are all loved and have incredible value simply because we exist and all we are asked to do is to believe in Him, to accept that we are broken, and to follow in Jesus’s footsteps. No more and no less. Just choose to believe, accept, and follow. Identify with the person of Christ and follow two rules; Love God with all your heart and mind, and love one another. No more, no less. It is simply your choice to comply. Do not be confused here. If you chose to ignore God and to not follow Him then you will lose your life in the end but not because it is what God wants, but rather what you wanted.
Interestingly enough, the humanist world view is kind of a distorted evil version of what God tells us in that the materialistic world view mandates a darker, uglier message for us to follow; believe what they say without question, accept that you are nothing and will always be nothing, and follow what they tell you to do, who to be, and what to believe without question. In short… comply or be destroyed. In this, you will lose your life no matter what. Even If you are the top most important person on the planet, you will die one day and most likely it will be by the hand of someone that wants your title and not because you lived a peaceful life to the fullest of your days. There is no peace in this world view, there is only death and destruction and that is all there will ever be. Whether you rule or comply, your life is worthless.
The cool thing about this is that God doesn’t leave us to our devices to figure this stuff out. He chooses those who are willing and open to Him and then allows us to choose to follow Him from there. The only timetable to this is our life… We have until the instant we die to decide whether or not we want to truly follow Him. The trick about that though is that we don’t know when that is going to happen, so now is better than later.
It took a while for me to accept the truth about myself, that I am broken and in need of help and the truth that God loves me beyond measure. I still have issues with belief and I have found that each problem or issue is a point to explore if I so choose, which results in a decision to make and path to follow and there is guidance along the way. But I have to choose which path I am going to take nonetheless. It is a journey that will last the rest of my life and it is one that has so far made all the difference in the world.
So to bring it all to a conclusion, who am I? I am simply a son of God and a follower of Christ. I am simply a broken and sinful man that looks forward to the time that I can be with Him and be who He created me to be. That is where I find my identity, with the Father and in Christ.
Thanks for your time and for reading. If you’re interested in what I write then please subscribe. It’s free and there is no obligation. Please comment below and share with others. I hope that you have a blessed day.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,