Over and over, these questions of existence, purpose, and identity haunt our individual consciences, floating in and out of our daily activities, clouds dancing across the sun. Søren Kierkegaard famously stated, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” So in answering the questions that acknowledge my existence, I have a trove of experiences from which to draw. But do they point to one specific end? Peaks and valleys of victory and defeat, but am I merely measured in the sum of those days?
How can I possibly define myself outside of the One who defines me? What am I, then? Who am I? While I would like to believe myself known as some shiny, finished product, the reality is I am still being formed. I guess if I am going to define myself as anything, I would love to think of myself as clay. It begins humbly, unassumingly part of the earth, dirt almost; but with work, and a master’s hand, it can be utterly transformed! My pride, my ambition, they render me tough, brittle even, but through the work of the Master, I become more pliable, more usable, more ready to become a vessel of His love, carrying His work into this world.
“Still, Eternal One, You are our Father.
We are just clay, and You are the potter.
We are the product of Your creative action, shaped and formed into something of worth.” – Isaiah 64:8
In the end, it’s not about my own creative ambitions or making a name for myself that matters. Instead of worrying about finding worthiness in myself, I’ll leave that up to Him, seeking my peace inside of His presence, my purpose from within His promises, my life individually stamped by the Master’s hand.