Herald Journal Columns
October 9, 2006, Herald Journal

Who am I?


One beautiful sunny day, a minister was going for a leisure walk. He spotted a group of teens sitting in a circle. As he took a closer look, he saw them meditating really hard. Every once in awhile, one teen would write a few words and then went back to that same deep meditating disposition.

The minister respectfully asked what they all were concentrating so hard on. One of the teens replied “Oh, we’re doing a paper for the Bible study group that we belong to.”

Another teen replied, “It’s really an easy question. It didn’t take long for me to write my paper.”

The minister asked “What is the question?”

The teen replied, “The question is, who am I?”

The minister nodded his head, and joined them.

The teens went to the community center to read their essays, where the minister was also in attendance.

The first teen asked “Who am I? He then began speaking about how he was a farm person and loved being out in the fields and being around animals.

How he enjoyed being with his friends.

He was also a baseball card collector, and traded his cards with others. To him, that is who he felt he was.

The second teen then read her paper. “I enjoy movies, shopping, dancing, and being with my friends. I am a person who is interested in gardening. I like to go to amusement parks an go on rides. I am a person who likes ice cream treats. I just like to have fun and laugh.” To her, that is who she felt she was.

The third teen read his paper. “I am a person who goes to church. I believe in God. I enjoy singing in the choir. I like to play basketball. I like to snowmobile in the winter. I like to fish, swim, and play my guitar. I like fast food restaurants, and being with my friends.” That is who he felt he was.

The fourth teen looked at her sheet and then at the other three teens. A huge smile came to her face, but she paused uneasily in silence. She looked back at her paper and paused again before she said, slowly “Who am I?”

Again, with a huge smile on her face she said, “Who am I? Me. I’m myself. No other. No duplicate. No clone. God created me, and I’m who He wants me to be. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else.”

“That’s true for you as well. Be natural. The only way to be somebody is to be yourself.”

“Trying to wear another’s personality, to look and act like him, is hard at first and become impossible later. In the drama of life we are cast in only one role. Yourself. We should play it, not imitate another. I need to learn to be me. No one else is as well qualified as I am.”

“Each of us has been uniquely shaped by God’s hand. He has formed us exactly to his plan. We don’t have to be anybody but ourselves.”

“As we walk with Christ, he’s in the process of making us more like himself. God created us into who we are an “nothing is to be rejected” (Timothy 4:4) If ever questioned ‘who are you?’ a simple answer, God’s unique creation.”

“There’s nobody just like you. Never has been, never will be. Only you can be you. Be whom God made you to be. Be yourself, and be the person you hope to be.”

Everyone in attendance was amazed. They shook their heads as if this was something they had never heard before.

Following their speeches, the minister walked over to the four teens and complimented them on the terrific job they had all done.

He then said, “My curiosity makes me wonder about something. Why did you pause and have a bit of a struggle before reading your paper? I thought what you wrote was beautiful, and for the most part, true.”

The young teen cleared her throat and replied, “When I heard what the other three wrote about themselves, I became insecure, knowing my paper was written in a different way, and wasn’t sure the people would enjoy what I wrote. Or maybe they would think that I missed the question altogether. I was filled with fear and lost my confidence for a moment.”

“In a spark of a second, I regained confidence and then went forward. Boldly realizing that, that is who I am.”

The minister smiled at the teen and raised his voice and replied, “Your paper was written in a different format, that’s all. You were only expressing yourself in a different manner. It’s very evident, you were being whom God created you to be.”

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