“Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son.” Numbers 20:28
First of all, I can’t tell you how GOOD it feels to be back at the keyboard again typing away to you!!! It seems as though our Oh So Sovereign God has planned these little “breaks” for me, so that by the time I get back to you after a month I’m so ready to be back it’s not even funny!
In this month of studying about identity and calling and Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and the plethora of other things I studied this last month, I’ve learned something so critical to my life. Writing to you every day is my center. During the break I was still reading with you every day, but it just wasn’t the same. It wasn’t enough. It was like I was taking the reading and swallowing it whole without chewing it first and really savoring it’s flavor and depth. I’ve missed that. I’ve missed YOU.
Although I can’t see your faces as you read, I know that you’re out there. Listening and paying attention. Some more than others perhaps, but still, you’re there. And that matters to me.
This month has been a harried, frenzied, mess of a month. We’ve had more snow than I can think to count, which has made school schedules crazy, which has made my schedule crazy, which has made me crazy. Put on top of that my center being taken away, and well, it just spells disaster plain and simple.
If you’re a writer (which I think I may have finally come to terms with the Truth that I am) then you KNOW what I mean by calling it my “center”. It’s the thing that I do that comes from the very center of my being, the very core of my existence. It’s the thing that I do because I HAVE to. Not just because I want to, or because it’s what God’s called me to do, but because it’s the thing that if I don’t do it I’ll die. Maybe not physically, but the part of me that’s actually ME, that part will die.
There was a day this month where I found myself in the church all by myself sobbing in a huddled mass on the floor begging God not to take “this” away from me. Earlier that day I had written a letter from God to me, it had been my writing for the day, and it had meant so very very much to me. His words like honey on my fingers and health to the very bones of my existence. Suddenly I was faced with the prospect of that all being taken away from me in one fell swoop and I couldn’t bear the thought of it. And with choking sobs I wailed (I’m not exaggerating here either.) “God PLEASE don’t take that away from me!” to the point that I was concerned that the people in the insurance office next door would call the cops thinking that someone was being murdered next door. (OK, here I might be exaggerating a little bit, but I bet it made you smile.)
Here’s my point. I know that from this point on for as far as I can see into the future with this blog, I’m supposed to be talking about Identity in Christ. This month off I’ve delved deep into as many books as I could on the subject. I’ve searched psychology websites and more than anything, I’ve searched myself.
Awhile back, in Unshakable Foundations Make Fear Flee, I pointed out that Jesus gave us the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Yet how can we do that if we don’t first love ourselves? And that naturally leads us to ask the question, “who am I?” We can’t love ourselves if we don’t know who we are now can we?
In today’s reading we find its Aaron’s time to meet his maker. So Aaron, Moses and Aaron’s son Eleazar go up to Mount Hor and perform a ceremonial changing of the guard so to speak. Aaron is stripped of his priestly garments and they are placed on Eleazar’s body. Ceremonially he is being given the tools, the authority and the title of the next high priest of Israel.
Eleazar had been waiting for this moment for quite some time. Possibly with anticipation, perhaps with some anxiety; it’s a huge job, spiritually leading the entire nation. But it was what God had chosen him for. It was the job that God had blessed him with. It was his calling, and part of his identity. For him not to do it, would have killed him. And in those times, for him to not do it correctly would have literally killed him!
Perhaps, we find no satisfaction in our jobs because we fail to see the bigger picture of why doing that job is important for us, our families, our company and the society as a whole. All too often we see ourselves as this tiny little cog in the machine of society, small and insignificant. What we don’t realize is that when that tiny little cog isn’t working properly it can jam up the entire works. What if the person who made those clothes for Aaron, hadn’t made them. Then where would Eleazar be?
Yes, you may feel like you only play a small part in the production of life. But the reality of it is it’s an IMPORTANT part none the less. Without you playing the part you’ve been cast in, the production just wouldn’t be the same.
Case in point: I was in the Unsinkable Molly Brown in high school. And there was this guy, Florian. He had a bit part, maybe one, two lines at most. I think he might have been the butler. But he played the bajeepers out of that part to the point that he was, by far, everyone’s favorite character in the play!
Here’s my point, he may have had a small part, but he didn’t play it that way. He played his part as if it was the most important part in the play. And suddenly it became that way, all because HE treated it with respect. None of us will ever forget Florian in that part because NO ONE could have played it like HE did. None of us could have done a better job with that part that him. It was his and he owned it, small or not. What mattered was that he was part of the production. People talked about that play for WEEKS afterwards, and most of it was about Florian and how great he was in that part.
You may feel like you have a small part to play in the production of life. And in reality we all do. The main character is Jesus, we all take bit parts next to Him. But we’re still part of the play. And our part is just as important as the next guy. But the MOST important part is how we play the part. Do we take it seriously? Do we claim it as our own and make the most of it, or do we downplay its importance and allow others to make us feel like we’re less significant because our job isn’t as noteworthy as the next guy’s?
BY NO MEANS!!!
God has given you a part to play in the production of life. Not only is it important to society, it’s important to YOU that you play it with gusto and pride; because it’s YOURS. It’s your part to play. It’s your center, the thing that stems from the essence of your being. It’s the thing that if you don’t do it you’ll die inside. And that’s the worst death of all. It’s the thing that you do that makes you feel full and complete and good about yourself. It’s the thing that you do that helps you get through the days when you just want to give up. It’s the thing that the very thought of it being taken away makes you crumple up in a ball and wail.
Don’t know what that thing is? Well then let’s figure it out! Let’s appeal to your Maker and ask Him what it is that He made you to do! Let’s go to the Director and ask Him what part He’s asked YOU to play. And you know what the really awesome thing is? He will tell you. He is faithful and good and just and He will help you find that thing that thing that stems from the center of your being. I’m praying for you and He WILL help you find it.
But remember this. Your “do” doesn’t define you. You define your “do”. That’s identity.
I am, therefore I do.