Starting this season with a discipline of a thoughtful photo a day. Today (Ash Wednesday), the theme was “Who Am I”? My immediate thought went to the lyrics of Les Miserables when Valjean is faced with one of his many crossroads moments and he simply sang “Who Am I?” I thought of this in the sense of the growth and maturity we all face where we grow learning how to understand who we are in our lives. I thought of Jesus’ question of the disciples – who do the people say that I am? After hearing their response, he asked, but who do you say that I am?
This question is a challenge because it depends on who answers. What I say about who I understand myself to be will be different from what my wife, my children, my parents, my friends, the parishioners I serve, etc say that I am.
The personal challenge for me is to work to integrate all those areas to have as much consistency through them as possible. While my role is different, I should be, at the core, the same person in all areas of my life. Will I do the same things in every area? No. However, I should still be the same me. The same Me that God created in a unique and beautiful way.
The picture I took today tries to capture some of these different pieces. I have the ashes from tonight’s Ash Wednesday service as a reminder of where I came from (and where I’ll eventually be going), I have the cross to represent that I am a follower of Jesus, I have my ring given to me nearly 13 years ago by my wonderful wife, and I have three pieces created by each of our beautiful children representing my role as a father. All these taken in the sanctuary of the congregation I serve.