Reinventing I

I was chatting with a family at the hospital today and the subject of old pictures came up as they were sharing some of their childhood memories.  They were speaking of hideous hair, googly-eyed glasses and less than stunning style.  I reflected on my own looks and styles through childhood, middle school and high school years and thought the same thing they thought – “Man, what were we thinking?!?”‘

Perhaps it is a reminder of the preeminence of the grace of God or perhaps it is some great universal metaphysical mystery, but it seems that we are continually gifted with the opportunity to reinvent who we are.  We are constantly unfolding.  We are constantly becoming.  We are not bound by our past, nor can we concretely plant ourselves in a present presence.  We are always inventing.

I was challenged by a reading today which suggested that if you follow the question “who am I?” and stick with that question long enough, then ultimately you can only come to the answer “I don’t know.”  I was left unsatisfied.  While I was quite comfortable with the notion that any one answer to this “Who am I?” question is only a part of the total answer defining ourselves, I was not satisfied to disregard that partiality.  In fact, I think in defining who we are, we need partiality!  At any one moment we are never the sum total of who we are!  We are only a part of who we are.  We have to define that moment by who we are in that moment- and we are free to REdefine ourselves every moment!

Have you ever entered a room happy only to notice that the room is full of sadness?  Have you ever entered a conversation angry only to notice that they are telling jokes?  We come into and out of moments all the time- completely free to reinventing who we are in the next moment.  The same is true of conversations, rooms, groups, settings and cities!  Who you are now is only part of who you might become.  That is the grace of redefining I!  I look forward to the next chance I get!  It could be just around the corner!

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