Who am I?

Published 4:13 pm Friday, October 14, 2016

When I was getting ready to head out early one morning this week I heard a statement on an advertisement that caught my attention:  “The car you drive says a lot about who you are.”  That put me to thinking about the car that I drive everyday and how I sure hope that that claim does not apply to me!

That old white Buick of mine is twelve years old, with more than 265,000 miles on it.  Furthermore, it has peeling paint, an inaccurate fuel gage, headliner held in place with thumbtacks, and a transmission that often bumps really bad when it shifts gears.

I wonder what that heavily used vehicle says about me?  Does it say I’m outdated, out of style, badly worn, and with failing parts that need to be replaced or repaired?  Maybe so, but that automobile has at least a couple of things in its favor:  it has been paid for for a long time, and so far it has gotten me safely to my destination and back without fail.

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As I think about the statement on that advertisement it reminds me of how we place value on things that do not last.  Owning a car that I cannot afford just so others will temporarily think more highly of me simply does not appeal to me, but lots of people get caught up in such traps and suffer greatly because of the stress that results from it.

There are moments in life when what we thought was of such immense value that we could not do without it becomes of far less importance than it previously held.  I was reminded of that a few weeks ago when I checked my voicemail.  The voice that I heard was a physician that I had recently visited and the message was “I wanted to talk to you about your biopsy.”  Whatever else was on my mind at that moment took a back seat to what I was hearing.  Thankfully everything ultimately turned out good, yet the sense of uncertainty in the moment caused me to reset some of my value system and urged me to pay more attention to what is truly important.

What really says something about who we are is not found in the kind of vehicle we own; instead, who we are rests in what we value, what holds the prominent positions in our affections, and what we invest our time and resources into.

If we place all our efforts into that which is temporary we will find ourselves making investments into a depository that yields no lasting increase, but when we surrender entirely to God and pleasing Him we come to understand and experience what is of greatest and most lasting value.  2 Corinthians 5:1 provides us with a glimpse of what we have to look forward to as we faithfully follow God:  “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands” (New International Version).

Who we are should not be defined by what we drive, where we live and work, or how important others perceive us to be.

Who we are should be defined by Who we know—knowing God through faith in Jesus Christ and resting in the confidence that what is to come is so much greater than what we know now that our human minds cannot comprehend it.