Our next contributor is a dear friend of Julie Miller's, Melody Martin. Mel has lived with cerebral palsy and all the struggles that a disability entails. She has endured the trauma of being hit and run over by a truck and has recently undergone two serious neck surgeries. It is through these times the Spirit has acted like an Energizer bunny and kept her going. She realizes it has been God, the Eternal Life force within her, that has gotten her through all the hard times.
We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
― William Shakespeare
Who do I say that I am? This question is an essential question to be reckoned with throughout our lives. During the first twenty-some years of our lives one of our main tasks is to develop a sense of our identity.
We get a lot of input from outside sources on this topic from family, friends, coworkers, teachers and ministers… We usually end up with a sense of identity that is based on the roles that we have, what we are able to do and how we look. Look at how people introduce themselves: I’m name; I work as a job title at employer. I’m married with # of children.
On one level we know who we are. Yet, on another level we don’t have a clue as to what we are. Some of you might be thinking, “That’s pretty easy. I’m a human being.” However, is that all we are? We could say we are energy that is vibrating at a low frequency. But, that feels too basic. We’re missing a key part of who we are.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition there is the belief that we are made in God’s image. What does it mean to be made in the image of God? How we answer that question will depend on how we define God and how we relate to God. For example, God as father, creator, judge, love, mystery, life force and spirit are a few of the ways I have related to God. Given this, I have identified myself throughout my life in various ways: a child of God, sinner, co-creator, beloved, mystery and spiritual being.
What does it really mean to be a spiritual being? A being of spirit. What is spirit? Breath, God, eternal life force, eternity? Given we are both human and spiritual beings, we are temporary unique expressions of the Eternal One. Aren’t we quite the paradox?! We need to have power to hold the paradox. Power is the ability to hold contrasting entities at the same time without invalidating either entity. Only by holding the multitude of paradoxes can we encompass the wholeness of who we are. The wholeness of who we are is in both the temporary and the eternal.
Jesus claimed and held that power. He said the Father and I are one (John 10: 30). He drew upon the Spirit within to be who he was and to do his ministry. Jesus told his disciples, and us, that we will do greater things than he did (John 14:12). We can do great things when we claim and draw upon the Spirit within us and allow it to express it in our own unique way!
Who do I say that I am? is a question we need to answer consciously. By doing so, we will make a difference!
You are not in the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.
Insightful! Yes- encouragement to find an identity the others find acceptable begins young and I think would never cease but for our spiritual teachers. Mine have lit the way for me to attempt to live as a whole being, and this definition of power, however, the ability to hold contrasting entities at the same time without invalidating either entity, I find most valuable. Thank you.