Who Are You?

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Who are you? What do you want?  Why are you here?  I remember these questions from one of my favorite television series of all time, Babylon 5.  This was asked by Lorien, the character John Sheridan encounters after nuking the home base of the evil Shadows on the planet of Z’ha’dum during the final episode of season three.  These questions had been asked before in the show before, but never were they as profoundly asked as they were by Lorien when season four of this series began.

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Television show set aside, let’s peer into these questions and why they make such an impact. First question.  Who are you?  The answer is not your name.  That is not relevant.  Your name does not define who you are.  Your job title does not define who you are either.  Many people hold jobs they really want nothing to do with, but they hang onto them so they can remain employed, keep up with their bills and avoid homelessness.  All your volunteer work, all your religious beliefs and all your talk does not define you.  It is your actions who defne who you are.

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So I ask again.  Who are you?  Here is my answer to that question, defining who I am; I am my own person, defined by the words I speak and the actions I perform.  I am not always in harmony with myself and I often ask myself am I going down the right path.  Am I pleasing God, and am I doing what Jesus Christ would have done if he were walking in my imperfect shoes?  I am a human being who cares a great deal about what goes on around me, both in my little world and this vast world that is home to every living creature on it’s earth, in it’s skies and in it’s waters.  Who I am is myself.  That is all whom I choose to be because I cannot be anyone else.  I do not wish to be anyone else.  Who I am is unique.  Who I am is spirit.  What I am defines who I am and I am me.  Nobody else can be me.  Anyone who tries would fail miserably.  I know who I am.  Question is, do you know who you are?

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Next question.  What do you want?  We all have wants and desires.  As unselfish as some of try to be, sometimes a lapse of judgment gets in the way and actions are taken that we wouldn’t do otherwise.  I’m  just as guilty of this as anyone else.  When I was younger, I was fueled by always wanting more than what I already have.  Anybody who had more than me I was instantly jealous of and had to find a way to outdo them somehow.  It was a faulty way of thinking because even if I got what I wanted I was never happy with it.  I always wanted more.

Then in 2003 I woke up, sort of.  I gathered my belongings and joined some friends to move to Newfoundland in what I had hoped would be an awesome new life.  That mentality was wrong and I nearly lost everything because of it.  I learned, for the very sake of my personal survival, I had to leave everything I owned behind and come back home while I still could.  I had it in my head that I’d try and get as much of my stuff back as possible, but I later learned after returning home that I couldn’t care less if I ever saw any of it again.  The only items that mattered to me were ties to my family, namely photographs.  However, even there, now that I do have them back, I rarely look at them.  Truth be told, if my (heaven forbid) house caught fire and all my valuables was reduced to ash I honestly wouldn’t care.  As long as everyone remained unharmed that’s all I’d want as a satisfactory outcome. Nowadays all I want is a comfortable home and the means to be able to get by in life knowing I’m clothed, fed and kept at arm’s length from anything that can harm me and those I care about.  I want this for everyone else too because I know if they fall short on what they need and I am in a position to help I will do so.  I don’t even give it a second thought because all I’ve ever really truly wanted (even during my selfish years) was for people to be happy, healthy and safe.

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So what do you want?  I know what I want.  A better world than what we have now.  This is not God’s world at all.  This is Satan’s world and, truth be told, I want no part of it.  I want out, but until I’m fortunate enough to see that materialize the best I can hope and work for is a comfortable life in a comfortable home with comfortable surroundings for as long as God will allow it.  I want my blessings to remain as is.  I don’t want the fanciest house, nor the newest car, nor even the trendiest wardrobe.  I honestly don’t care for what I now deem as wasteful wants that demoralize a person’s true character.  For me, what I want is life to be good and not just for myself.  I want this for everyone, plain and simple.

Why Here

Next question.  Why are you here?  I honestly believe we are all here on this earth to learn.  Like I commented earlier, I believe this is Satan’s world and not God’s right now.  In this particular world, we are here to learn.  We are surrounded by challenges and it’s up to each of us how we conquer those challenges without compromising who we truly are.  We are warned of the seven deadly sins known as pride, wrath, sloth, envy, glutony, lust and greed.  As this world continues to spin more out of control it has been my observation that these seven deadly sins are actually being more embraced than ever instead of avoided.  It is often commented that we learn by our mistakes.  If this is true, then why is the human race choosing not to learn from their mistakes and purposely makes them without any consideration of their consequences?   Is this why we are here?  Is it to witness the failure of learning from our mistakes that will ultimately lead to the extinction of mankind?

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Why are we here if we purposely break the ten commandments, set to us by God, written by Moses?  We certainly don’t learn our lesson in this regard either.  What used to be highly regarded commandments, the very fundamentals of what makes society great are now ridiculed and for what?  Because it’s too inconvenient for the less moral to follow?

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I believe we are here because God (at this point I don’t care if you believe in him or not) wants us to learn from our mistakes and become a much stronger race for it.  Satan’s world is only a temporary one and we are here to live through the experiences, both good and bad, so that when the permanent one takes over there will no longer be any margin for error.  At that point, those who’ve acknowledged why we are all really here will be as close to God as they can get.  We will reach an age where we’ve seen too much, done too much and experienced too much to allow ourselves to be as easily deceived as we have been all this time.

I also believe in some odd way we are here to serve as God’s organic version of databases that are running around in this crazy circle we call life.  My belief is the Holy Spirit is what binds all of us.  It binds us to each other, binds us to Jesus Christ, who in turn binds us to God.  Those who embrace the Holy Spirit and what it stands for has a unique and remarkable understanding of life for all it’s worth.  Those who haven’t quite figured it out yet but are valiantly trying (like me) get it, but still have a long way to go before being satisfied with the answer to why we are here.  I honestly believe nobody truly understands why we are here, but I do think a tiny handful of us have figured out that we are here for a multitude of little reasons that lead up to one giant reason that makes most sense of all; Humanity.

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My definition of humanity is people coming together as one giant family regardless of what corner of the world they think they come from.  We all share the exact same creator and we are all bound together by the exact same spirit.  Some of us may call it souls, and I believe the soul within is kept alive by the Holy Spirit.  It’s strength is based purely on how we live and learn throughout our lifetime. Although I haven’t come to a full conclusion as to why we are here, I do believe we’ve reached an era now where we’re very close to finally figuring it all out.

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However, Satan is going out of his way to prevent this from happening.  He knows he’s running out of time and is fueling the evils of this world to accelerate their paths of destruction by any means necessary to block us from discovering our true purpose.  We have been bombarded with more distractions than ever, all of it meant to divide us.  When we quarrel with each other Satan is giddy because his methods of madness are working.  However, as the character of Delenn from Babylon 5 said it best in a quote I only needed to hear once to remember it’s meaning. Of all the races we Minbari encountered we’ve come to realize Humans are the most dangerous.  Humans form communities and communities are powerful.  When you form as a community you are one and that’s an unstoppable force.

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So my answer to why we are here is this.  We are here to live.  We are here to learn.  We are here to serve a higher purpose that we have yet to truly understand.  While a select few have figured it out, the vast majority have not.  That day will come, though.  Once it does then Satan’s world will cease to exist and God’s world, the one that’s supposed to be ruled by the only leader truly qualified to lead us, Jesus Christ, will replace it. I wait patiently for this day.  Until then I will never give up hope.  I will never allow my faith to dwindle.  My faith is what drives me to keep hoping and praying that everything will find a way to work itself out.  Just because I hope and pray doesn’t mean I choose the lazy path of standing back and let everyone do the work for me.  No, we are judged by the fruits of our labor and to sit by and do nothing is no longer who I am.

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Next Question.  Do you have anything worth living for?  Everybody has their own reasons for that.  For me it’s simple.  I have Jesus Christ worth living for.  I have God worth living for.  I have my husband worth living for and I have animals in my home that I know would never have the same level of care without me.  So, for them, and my dog, I live to ensure they’re well taken care of for the rest of their days.  I actually keep praying to Jesus that for as long as I’m alive long enough to look after the animals that are under my care (as I do not intend to bring in more) I am good.  Anytime after that I honestly don’t care.

I know, nuts, right?  I never did claim to be a sane person.  Besides, I regard sanity as highly over-rated.  It has been through personal observation and experience that those who are often dubbed crazy are really the ones more in touch with reality than those who just go with the flow simply because it’s the favored choice of standard society to follow.  Those who follow the crowd, whether it be among the popular kids in school, or the trendiest adults at work or in the neighborhood are fabrications of each person’s insane quest to fit in.  Instead of being uniquely individual and be themselves, they allow themselves to get blended into an illusionary lifestyle that seems ideal but boldly displays all those seven deadly sins we’ve been warned about in such a manner that hardly anybody even notices they’re doing them.

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Even since as a kid, fitting in was always a problem.  I tried for a brief period of madness, but I then realized I didn’t really want to fit in.  I just wanted to get along with everyone despite it all.  At one point, a brief period in high school. I figured since I’m surrounded by people who are so oblivious to their conformity (plus they were badly bullying and ridiculing a close friend of mine) I’d target each of them by literally taking a minor detour down the school hallway and ram into them, shoulder to shoulder and with enough force to make them realize I did that on purpose.  I kept going with this for about a month and I noticed people were beginning to fear me.  It was a great feeling, but it wasn’t what I wanted.  I wanted someone to speak up and ask me why I was doing it.  Finally someone did and I explained it.  That’s all it took and it stopped.  The explanation I gave was I wanted all those I bullied to have a dose of their own medicine.  I wanted them to know what it was like to feel like a target getting picked on for no good reason other than the fact I could do it.  Oddly enough it worked to a degree, but I taught myself a bit of a lesson during that bout of madness myself.  Bullying the bullies was not the answer, especially if all you were out to do was teach people getting along with each other no matter what is a better alternative than to pick on unique individuals the vast majority find difficult to understand.  To me, ramming down people with force to see things my way wasn’t something worth living for.  Running around like a spoiled brat or an aggressive lunatic was not the kind of lifestyle I wanted, despite the fact I was like this throughout my youth.

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Upon realizing the err of my ways (at least most of them) I have strived to find better reasons that give me the drive to stay alive.  Those reasons, mainly, have been for family, friends, myself and to display to God that I’ve chosen to take the blessing of life for what it is to the best of my ability.  Take it for what it is and respect it.  I realized everything that I find worth living for must also be everything worth dying for if the cause is just.

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Next question.  Who do you serve?  That one is easy.  I try to serve Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father the best ways I know how.  I serve to please them, but also try to serve myself a life that’s worth lving.  This includes making and maintaining friendships, staying close to family and be there for strangers who simply need a random act of kindness.  I serve the animals, regardless if they’re under my direct care or a homeless stray that also needs that random act of kindness.  Theres is nobody else I wish to serve, but whatever it is I do, the only reward I expect out of it is the satisfation I did a decent enough job to put a smile on someone’s face.  I don’t do it for the specific favor of anyone (including God) because doing so for that reason is a shallow way of thinking and I refuse to go there.

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Almost done.  Next question.  Who do you trust?  I have a tendency to be gullible, which means for the most part I trust everyone to a degree.  I trust that everyone has at least an ounce of goodness within them, even if they refuse to let it show.  However, to be blunt, I will never trust anyone enough to put my life into their hands.  It is very diffficult these days to convince me to completely trust a physician unless he’s truly earned it.  I’ve had four surgeries in my time where three of them I really didn’t have much say in the matter.  They were emergency surgeries that needed to be performed.  The fourth was performed by the same physician who did the third.  At that point I had no reason not to trust him and as far as the medical profession goes, he is about the only doctor I can honestly admit that deserves the faith that I have placed in him.

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However, truth be told, the only one I trust is the Holy Trinity.  None of them, not the Holy Spirit, nor Jesus Christ, nor God have let me down ever.  I’m the one that lets them down by being so unstable as a human being.  As much as I strive to be more like Jesus Christ and follow his path, I get easily distracted and I stumble.  I often joke that I have a bad habit of finding my own path and even in the face of spirituality I still have tendencies to do that.  I do not follow mainstream religions because I do not trust them.  I do not trust any denomination that has come from these religions and I most certainly do not trust the leaders and congregations any of them belong to.  I trust God.  I trust the Jesus Christ.  I trust the Holy Spirit and I trust the Bible.  I’ve been to a few different churches and listened to various approaches these religions have taken and while they all seem to have their hearts in the right place, the sad truth is I find most of them are blinded from the real truths that stare them in the face.

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I worked as a hall manager that was under the ownership of a Roman Catholic Church.  At that time I figured what a great environment to be in.  However, never in my life had I encountered such a hostile group of people than I have them.  They displayed the exact same pattern of behavior as the students I went to school with.  Actually, in my eyes, this bunch is much worse because they have years of experience under their belts.  At least with school students I realized it was the vanity of youth that was plaguing everyone there.  In the church, however, I saw it in virtually every single congregation member they they were a bunch of arrogant, self-righteous and self-serving over-aged brats.  The arrogance was clear when they go with the false belief that simply because they go to church that they’re a better person than those who don’t.  The self-righteous and self-serving attitudes were stemmed by expecting whatever they do will earn them favor in the eyes of God, even if the honestly believe what they’re doing is foolish.  The pride they display for being such a dutiful servant to God is like the equivalent of a boastful hockey mom who sees her child as the top player of his team.  Although it’s great to be proud of something accomplished, there is a difference between being satisfied with your work and becoming a braggart.  Braggarts proudly display arrogance in their achievement and quite often the lust and greed to do more kicks into gear and they will not allow their pride to be tarnished by the very thought of someone else doing better than them.

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The most common problem I see in people (and myself) is how easy it is to shift from righteousness to self-righteousness.  All it takes is a few actions that start out with noble intent but somewhere along the way gets twisted into something else.  Failure to recognize this then results into straying further and further away from the path we were meant to stay on and thus we become lost in the process.  Some of us try to find our way back while others don’t seem to care.  They rather enjoy the new scenery and wind up wanting to keep going their own way, even if it’s a suicidal one.  Of those who struggle to find their way back, many will give up and simply stay put where they’re at.  Others will keep trying until they either figure it out or keep going in circles.

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For me, service should be something a person does because it’s not only the right thing to do for the right cause, but it rewards whom they are serving with a feeling of warmth and compassion.  For the person performing the service, should feel satisfaction that they’ve done a good deed for the very necessary nourishment of their own soul.  When the time comes for each of us to be judged based by the fruits of our labor, it’s not going to boil down to how many charities you’ve worked for or donated.  It’s going to boil down to where was your heart each time you did something that had someone else’s benefit over yours.  Fruit can look beautiful on the surface, but can be rotten to the core on the inside.

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Final question.  Where are you going?  I don’t know about you, but I prefer to go forward.  I look back from time to time, but only to remind myself never to go there again.  The path forward won’t always be as well lit as I’d like it to be, but that’s where faith kicks in and you simply have to trust your gut.  In my opinion, your gut is where the Holy Spirit makes it’s connection between you and God.  Jesus Christ is the hand that guides us, but it’s up to us to take that hand and follow.  Failure to do so and you wander about with blinders on.  Even if you think you know the way, detours can easily be put into place that’ll force you to stray from the path and get you lost.  It’s no different than driving a car to a destination and there are road blocks ahead that force you to find another way to get to where you want to go.  Now, if you’re paying attention all you need to do is follow the signs and you should be able to find your destination.  For me, detour signs is the equivalent to the sign of Jesus Christ when it comes to life’s destinations.  Fail to follow them and you are lost.

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I love to travel.  I love to explore.  However, I hate being lost.  Most of the time I can find my way back as I’ll focus on signs that should steer me back to where I need to go.  However, I’ve encountered many false signs that give me every reason to think I’m on the right path when in truth I’m simply getting myself more lost.  I see life the same way as we are easily duped by false signs, thinking they’re the ones to follow, but in truth were either rigged by pranksters or poorly written where it’s easy to misunderstand what it meant.  Road signs are no different.  I’ve seen road signs be turned, relocated, vandalized and poorly designed and it’s frustrating to come across these.

I should point out I’m also an old school driver.  What I mean by that is I don’t like to rely on the GPS to tell me where I’m going.  I prefer maps and I prefer following the signs.  I won’t lie.  I have used GPS units and they have been helpful for the most part, but I have encountered situations where the direction it tells me to go clearly doesn’t mesh with where I know I need to go.  I was a courier driver in a city for nearly six years.  When I first moved into that city I didn’t know it at all and got lost easily.  It didn’t take long, however, to reach the point where I knew the city so well that the little map book I used would only be referenced if I was given the name of a street I wasn’t familiar with.  Even there, I had little trouble figuring out where I needed to go and not get lost in the process.

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I see life the same way.  For most of the part I have a pretty good idea what paths I need to take in order to live a completely fulfilled life that I believe God nor Jesus Christ would have a problem with.  Even there, if I falter, I try to be quick to correct myself and steer myself straight.  Getting lost is easy.  Staying lost is also easy, but not an option for me.  I hate being lost and I will stop at nothing to find myself back on the course I know I need to be on to get to where I want to go.  Where I want to go is home.  I don’t mind the sightseeing, but even as I travel to the most awesome vacation spots there is no feeling quite like home.

So where am I going?  Home.  One way or the other I will find my way home.  I keep praying to Jesus to never let go of my hand and don’t allow me to let go.  I’m like one of those terrified kids where if I don’t have the hand of someone I trust guiding me to where I need to go then I will go into panic mode because I will feel lost.  However, that panic mode is quickly replaced with focus and that lost feeling doesn’t become so desperate anymore and I will find my way back.

So where are you going?  Who do you trust?  Whom do you serve?  Do you have anything worth living for?  Why are you here?  What do you want?  Who are you?  I know my answers.  What are yours?

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