I am not sure it is cool to be closing in on 40 and still trying to "find yourself". My life is pretty set. Great wife, beautiful kids, fairly secure job, mortgage...All the accessories of the typical grown-up. So why do I seem to feel so unsettled...like there is still some dragon to slay or mountain to climb? I know life is a series of challenges and obstacles but I also tend to believe that we all have one great task for which we were placed in time to achieve. I am not talking about greatness here. The task could be small and insignificant outside my own chest and yet it is the thing that drives my own heart to keep beating.
I have had lots of theories about what the task might be over the past 30 years or so. Rock Star, Husband, Worship Leader, Dad - all of these have been part of the picture of who I am at different seasons in my life (OK I was a rock star for about 15 minutes after the first Sharefest). Trouble is, every time I try and define myself by one of these labels, I am confronted with my failure in each of these endeavors. There's the rub. When I define myself by what I do, I can't help but see myself as worthless when I don't "do" those things very well. When I yell at my kids or disappoint my wife. When I remain uncomfortable with an F chord even though I have been playing guitar for 25 years. When I "lead" worship and nobody follows. Every failure kills hope that I will ever find or accomplish what I am here to do. And still, the longing to know lingers in my chest.
Maybe my hope is misplaced...
I have sought for most of my life to define myself by who I thought I was or should be...or worse, by who others thought I should be. But who am I...really?
When the prodigal left home, his pockets were full of his father’s money and he had the swagger of invincible youth. He had charisma, talent, and what seemed like unlimited resources. He could be anything he could dream or hope. But... When he came home, the swagger became a stagger and all that remained was the hope of a son. He "found himself" in front of his old home as his Dad ran to meet him and held him like only a father can. Arrogance melted into gratitude. The hope that caused his heart to beat was found where he least expected to find it. His journey ended where it had begun. His hope burned in the love of his Father.
I still struggle. I still think that there is "something out there" for me. But for now, I am nothing more than a man who has been loved, beyond explanation, by the God of the universe. He has always watched for my return during my all too frequent runnings. I am always welcome at His table no matter how long I have been away. I am a man whom He has chosen to call "Son".
I think maybe that is enough.