Where am I? Who am I? What is my purpose?
Whether we label it or not, most young people at some stage go through some period of wondering who they are and where they are going. And a good number of not-so-young people too.
Finding yourself. We want to discover who we really are, and so we pursue experiences and a life that is meant to help us define ourselves, help us discover what makes us, us.
I did that. I thought I needed to know who I was by finding it out, searching everywhere. Chalk the mistakes up to 'experience'. Nothing is bad. Do what I want. Be 'true to myself'.
The problem is, finding yourself doesn't actually help you know who you are or what your purpose is. Find yourself, and what have you got? A flawed imperfect person, searching for something.
The irony, the paradox of following Christ is that to 'find yourself' you really have to lose yourself.
The world tells us that to find ourselves and our purpose we have to do the things we want, gain things for ourselves, have experiences for ourselves.
God tells us that we have to deny ourselves. Lay down our lives. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23
That seems to hard to us, because it is so contrary to everything we are told. We are told it's all about self. Self-esteem. Self-confidence. Self-worth. The problem with those things is that the focus is on the Self part, rather than the part that comes after the little dash. Esteem, confidence, worth.
Those things are not found in ourselves, but in God.
The question then is, do you trust God with your life. Are you willing to let go of 'finding yourself' and trust that God already knows who you are, wholly and completely and deeply? Do you trust that will provide you with all the worth and purpose that you need?
And are you willing to risk losing your life to save it?
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." Luke 9:24