Monday, March 5, 2012

The Best Version of Myself

To tease his patient into giving him information about her condition, a doctor asked, "Am I a fireman?" She teased back knowingly and answered, "I don't think so." She affirmed his presence as a doctor and he continued with his quest for a quick diagnosis.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could always have our identity diagnosed so quickly? Just ask a probing question and someone affirms who we are. Then we can move on in our quest for knowledge - or prestige, or power, or beauty, or acceptance.
But what happens if our search for our own identity fails us? In our quest to be the best version of ourselves, we bump into others who  daily reject us, compete with us, turn from us, and give us reason to wonder about ourselves and who we really are. We then start bumping into our own self in a way that becomes critical and self-abasing. We begin to not like ourselves because we just can't measure up to the expectations of a secular and self-absorbed world. And sometimes that "world" includes family and closest friends. And then we  remove ourselves ,become invisible to the world, and become a victim of retreat.
And the world wonders why we can't get our act together.
And the world turns it's self-conscious head and moves on without us.
But that is not what God intended for us. Scripture says God created us in his own image with a plan and a purpose for each and every one of us. (Jeremiah 29:11) Scripture says we are the apple of God's eye (Psalm 17:8) and He watches and cares for us. (Psalm 23) Scripture says a whole lot about God's love for us. (John 3:16) Scripture is the best self-help book I have ever read. God is a great motivator.
I was with a group of friends in January and someone threw out a phrase that is staying with me through these first months of the year.  She said, "I want to be the best version of myself." That's it. The best version of myself is the person that God intended  for only me to be. Not the cover on the magazine, not my older sister, not my younger sister, not by best friend nor my neighbor, not my business associate, not anyone else but the version God himself intended for me alone.  If I fail becoming the best version of me, then I have failed God. I have disappointed the one who planned my life before he created the world. Now that is identity, for sure.
Who is it you really want to be?
Do you want to be me?
Or do you want to be you?