This is going to sound crazy but some of the best thoughts I have happen when I am running or in the shower. It was in the shower AFTER my run today that I began thinking about my job and the career in graphic design that I have chosen.
I'm at a place in my life (37, married for 11 years, with 3 small children) and in my faith that I feel like I can be honest with myself and where I'm at. I remember in high school being so wrapped up in my identity as a football player. I had the luck to play on the varsity team starting in my sophomore year. I loved the sport. I loved every minute of it. I loved that people thought of me as an athlete and a nice guy. I loved wearing my jersey on Fridays before the game. I even loved the black and blue marks and sore muscles the day after the game.
But looking back now, I realize how much I let that talent, that athletic ability define me. I told myself things like "you might not be very good at basketball or playing piano or doing math but you are one of the best at football." As I graduated and got older I let other roles define me too much. Matt the fraternity guy. Matt the exchange student. Matt the graphic designer. Matt the nice guy. Matt the rock climber. Matt the hiker. Matt the father... the son... the brother... the husband... the coworker... the... and the list goes on.
But slowly, God has been revealing to me the utter uselessness of all that stuff. And that's what it is, just stuff. Empty titles that define us in some narrow way. Yes, we all wear different hats and play different roles. And that's NOT bad. It's when I let those hats and roles define who I am that my problems seem to occur. I forget WHOSE I am and therefore WHO I am.
Have I mastered this shedding of roles, these boxes people (and I) put me in, these labels they put on me? No. But I am getting better at identifying them for what they are and trying my best to keep them in balance with who DOES define me—Jesus Christ and the new creation I am becoming as I live and find my being in Him. Afterall, He's not impressed with many of my accomplishments here on earth. Only what I do for Him and others really matters in the 60 or 70 years (Lord willing) I may have here.
So, these were my thoughts in the shower this morning. I will never be the best anything here on earth. There will always be someone who is better than me at something. And I'm ok with that. Slowly, surely I am being transformed. Into His perfect image. And though it sometimes feels like two steps forward one step back I'm still heading in the right direction. And I love the view from here.