Half Shrugging, Half Surrendering
From time to time, all of us ask ourselves “Who am I?” in varying degrees. This is one of those times for me. But juxtaposed in the vicinity of my mind are other questions. “Why am I?” “How am I to be truly me?” All the while in the back of my skull, I hear a light response to questions I ask of God (John 8:58): “I am.” I change, but God remains as He has always been and always will be.
But then, maybe I don’t change as much as I often feel like I do. I was made in God’s own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), with certain traits inherent to me alone. And amidst these physical and emotional traits lie my spiritual traits, which I’m learning to call my charism. So the discerning of this so-called charism continues. Which leads me to some questions which don’t sound altogether new when compared with my earlier questions: What’s my charism? Why’s my charism? How am I to live out my charism?
Sometimes, however, I make God into my own likeness, or liking. I put God in a box, and limit what He can do. Not to say God has limits, but I decide He does. Not just in terms of His power, but in terms of what He has authorized me to do for Him. And so I run away like Jonah. The only trouble is, it’s hard to run from Someone who’s everywhere.
As if this isn’t enough, God doesn’t seem to like it in the box anyway. He always manages to escape when I'm not watching diligently. And after He escapes, He has the perhaps unsurprising (and altogether annoying) tendency to sneak up on me and to nudge me in a different direction. This is exactly what God has been doing in my life recently.
And so, I throw up my hands, half shrugging and half surrendering. Perhaps I have more in common with the legion of demons than I'd like to think I do: “What do you want with...[me], Jesus of Nazareth?” (Mark 1:24)