The Survey Will Identify Me.
Facebook has its fair share of fads. There are certain streams that when they happen they seem to be everywhere. The latest one is to take part in a survey that will tell you where you fit in or describe your character for you. There have been ‘what type of spice are you?’ questions. There have been ‘what Game of Thrones character are you?’ There has been ‘what country should you live in?’ questions. Or ‘what type of flower?’ or ‘animal am I?’ I have to say like many fads on Facebook I have not taken one of these surveys. The latest fads either do not interest me or I find myself having an aversion to what is being asked to do. Or is it I just cannot be arsed? Whatever the case I am still at a mystery as to whether I am Joffrey as was suggested by a friend (or was that a fiend :)) or even Ginger Spice. To be honest I really could not care less. But the case is not true for everyone, some people really need to know what colour they are or what character they most represent. Why is this such an issue with so many people? I think it is because they have no sense of identity as to who they are, or they have a desire to be somebody or something else, a lack of acceptance as to who they really are. They do not like what they see in the mirror and hope somewhere in there is something that can be respected and even surprise themselves.
Having a Fit.
Of course this all comes from the desire to fit in or be accepted. The desire to impress others. This has been an age old old problem that will always be when we do not discover our own identity in Christ. And when I say that I do not mean discovering what ministry gift I am or what talents or abilities I can offer the church, whether I am an apostle or a gift of help. We have such an obsession with what we are that is not healthy. Instead we need to accept who we are in Him and just be. It is not a case of where do we fit in, but that we have been fitted in or placed into Christ and now we need to live and be and have our being through who we already are in Him. This takes away the stress of finding our niche within the church or even our tribe. Because we just are ourselves and can be around whomever we come into contact with. We do not have to act or believe certain things to be part of the family, we are family (as Sister Sledge once reminded us). From the time of growing up in church it was all about where do I fit. I have taken tests and surveys, been in lectures and seminars, all to discover the gift inside me. This leads to fitting in with some and being outside with others. The trouble occurs when you seem to always be a round peg in a square hole. Where do you go from there? What happens when the gift spotted in you has to be worked on and causes stress because you cannot quite be the Pastor or Prophet people want you to become? I realised one day I just wanted to be me. I tried being the perfect Pastor and did not fit. I tried being the powerful Prophet and it weighed heavy on me. Just being me is so liberating. The only people it bothers are those who want me to be something or somebody else. Always remember seeing a woman called Deborah Chapman at Antioch in Llanelli. She got a cardboard box in a gathering one day and completely kicked the crap out of it, a prophetic act of never wanting to fit in the box. I am me, and only me can be who I was made to be.
Youer than you.
One thing that the church often does is steel identity. We do this through our moulding people to be the perfect Christian. We often say if God had wanted robots he would not have given free will but then we rob people of that free will anyway. We want to direct, shape, indoctrinate, mould, and create the perfect model of someone just like me. What we end up creating is something more like Frankenstein. Mentoring is not making a replica of yourself it is equipping someone to be themselves. Not finding out what gifting they carry or whether they can be a ministry to the church, but developing the space for the creativity of the me inside them to surface. Creating a place where there is no fear of being unique or different. Equip them with identity in Christ and then allowing them to be that whatever the flaws or falls they make, because a true identity in and through Him is not about getting it right it is about being alive. That the life I live is full of potential, not because I can be something else in the future or become a Star Wars hero or a bright colour orange like the survey says I am, but because I just open my eyes and see me in the space I already fill. No one else was made to fit the me space. It is not about carrying labels or what men say I am, it is about me inside of me becoming me to the world around me. Then when all these mes come together we have us. A beautiful patchwork quilt of creativity and colour and spice in life. We do not have to work out what colour or spice we are just add what we have. Do you think curry powder cares what it is called, it just need to be added and you will know it is there by it’s flavour. The same is true of me.