Who Am I?
Unexpected Prayers STUDY
Just yesterday I was watching from the airplane window, the tiny toy cars crawling over the ribbons of freeways, quiet LA neighborhoods pattered out neatly. Pin dot lights sketched lines and circles. Every element flowed together. A peaceful work of art barely moved, silently on the earth below.
Put your tray table in its upright and locked position. My ears popped. The overhead lights flickered. Along with 152 passengers, we floated back into the masterpiece from the friendly skies above.
The landscape slowly changed. Cars moved faster. The dimmed and missing streetlights were clarified. Rotting swimming pools and old cars were revealed in the misshapen suburban mess. As we drifted home, the canvas from above exposed herself. Up close, she was nothing more than an ugly accident. Her real self, a vision from deep inside Los Angels. That’s the girl I knew.
I was dreading the routine of real life on Monday morning, a typical contemplation after a week-long break from my day-to-day schedule. But that stunning perspective from my airplane window left me wondering. It is a big world. Have I made the right decisions? Does my tiny contribution to the world make any difference? Should I just return to the same routine of stress waiting for me after the airplane ride?
Glimpses of the greater picture of existence inspire questions about our identity. Whether longing for something more, or terrified to move forward, we ask ourselves great questions. Did I, Should I, What if, Could I?
Who am I?
Everyone asks it of themselves, and our current culture is more than happy to help us answer this. Look inside, they say. Look at your hopes and dreams, they say. Look at your friends around you, they say. Look at your satisfaction and peace of mind, they say. Then you will know who you should be.
But unfortunately, this is not at all what the God who created you says. When curious about our path and purpose in life, He does not circle us back to the god of our self. When wondering about the good that I should and could and would do, God does not invite us to look deep inside at our broken streetlights and dirty gutters. When we are pushed to the edge of asking the question, “Who am I?" God hears that as a prayer, and He answers.
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