It’s amazing just how much you can learn about yourself.
Whether it’s being at home or abroad… there’s always something new that your environment can educate you to about just who we really are. I’m not necessarily talking about personality traits or instances when we defy our own norms but revelations that can create irreconcilable differences between the person we are as we exist now and the person we are meant to be, can be, we once were, or whatever else we can think of that allows us to give definition to existential differences.
But, one thing I’ve learned “studying abroad” was that we, as human beings, are never going to be unified in that sense. There are just too many crises that we face that create moments that we are forced to agree or disagree with our contrasting identities. Now, don’t confuse this with multiple personalities or anything that may imply mental illness. We are all crazy in our own way. Very few of us are by definition “sane.” Hell, I don’t think any of us are. We go at it with ourselves so much that I don’t think it’s possible to look at ourselves and not make the accusation. However, the inevitable inclusion of those around us and consequently those we care for makes us wonder.
I’ve come to hold true that whatever our journey is for, the space between where we are now and the destination is a battleground. Whether we question the dignity a beard may add (as men) or does wearing lingerie inhibit a woman’s ability to be modest (if you’re a woman)… or extending beyond the superficial and asking questions that challenge the very nature of your own being… whatever the road you travel, the lengths you’ll go to find resolution will create plenty of opportunity to see just how divisible we really are.
The doubt and insecurities that being in a transitional phase bring can be crippling to the personal going through it. However, there will always be those who take sides. There are those who feed the necessity and value of either one of those identities and the conflict between those aspects deny the idea of being a unified entity. However, there’s always more going on than meets the eye and that element gives us hope.
The apparent schism plays an important role in our overall growth. The split doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with us. It just means that we have an internal conflict of interest and those aren’t always bad things either. There are things we may want to accomplish that aren’t always conducive to our personality construct as it stands. Conversely, there are things that we have already done that compromise our future. It’s a part of the growing pains we go through. It’s a fact of life. We will be at odds with ourselves. We are what we are.
In the midst of all of that confusion, there will be a time that someone will ask who we just happen to be… perhaps the hardest hitting question we can ever ask ourselves would be, “Do we really want to know who is responsible for saving our own ass?” Sure, I think we would all like to know. But, is it honestly necessary? As a Christian, we acknowledge that God can move in mysterious ways and we can’t always put our finger on where and when things were set in motion. But, we can feel comfortable attributing that to Him.
Sure, I can go with that. Faith is important and it shows. Nothing wrong with having it and putting it to use.
However, there are critical moments… and we may not know who is who… that will have everything hanging in the balance… and we won’t know who is really doing what is necessary to achieve the goal. I’ve had more than enough of those instances in life… and even some now… and I’ve been left asking that very question. I can honestly and truthfully say that God hasn’t always been that answer. It’s not a bad thing because I understand that He can be “that way.” Sometimes, He just wants you to do things yourself. It is quite a talent to be self-sustaining. It’s an even bigger talent to be able to choose not to be.
I can save myself. I’ve been trained and given the necessary equipment to just that. It’s part of my journey… and I’ve made some friends being on this path. I’ve made some enemies. I value the person I was as equally as I value the person I am now because I’ve been made whole by them because they compliment each other. I don’t have to grant God the reverence He may deserve. Not because He doesn’t deserve it but because I know How he works with me. I understand how it works and I’m not necessarily the guy to mess with something that isn’t broken. Furthermore, I don’t need Him to tell me He’s around. Just like He knows I know my way Home.
I don’t need to know who the hero of my story is. Maybe I don’t want to know. I never have been central to my own life and it doesn’t seem like a good time to start.
It’s a common preconception that we have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things. Jesus was and it’s a hard example to follow. I won’t lie. Extraordinary people are most tempted by the most ordinary things. Even Jesus was…
As true as that is, even ordinary people did extraordinary things too.
And I’ve found a little peace being just that.