Thursday, September 17, 2009

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Since getting facebook and starting a blog, I can’t hide.“Are you the Doug Spurling that graduated from St Peter High School?...Did you ever live in Ada Ok?...Is this my cousin Doug-the skiing, fishing, boating horse breaking Doug? What is happening?”

My past resurrected. Things I thought left behind for good, staring at me asking in different ways the same question, “Who are you?”

I didn’t realize until I needed air, the question caused me to hold my breath, it scared me. Like looking in the mirror and not liking the view. I stared at each question as if it violated my present. Why are you here? How did you find me? Why would you want to find me?

I don’t know why tying together past with present caused pain.

I crossed and burned that bridge. How did you get to this side? It’s not that I don’t want you here. I’m happy to see you. But, I’m not the man I should be. I'm not done. I’ve failed and my life, well, just not so sure you want to see the mess. Come back in twenty years and I’ll have things straightened out enough to be presentable. In the mean time have a great life, nice to see you. Bye.

What was that? Why did I feel that way? My life isn’t that screwed up, is it? Why do I feel ashamed or embarrassed about accepting as a friend my past?

I know why.

I don’t measure up in my own eyes. I'm not complete. I haven’t grown. I have goals and dreams I haven’t reached, some because I failed, others because I never tried.

It just occurred to me. What bothers me about me isn’t the failing so much as the times I never tried. The times I thought I should or could but didn’t or wouldn’t, those are the times that make me feel less than adequate.

Who am I? How do I answer? My head knowledge tells me, I’m a husband a father a son a brother an uncle a nephew a cousin a grandson a grandpa…and then it goes a little deeper. I’m a child of God created in the image of God.

With that thought I wax philosophical. Things I know as truth but harder to understand stroll through my mind. I am a Spirit, I have a soul and I live in a body. I am a Spirit. I only have a soul which is my mind, my will and my emotions, it’s not me, I’m a Spirit. I live in a body, this body isn’t me, I just live inside it. I am a Spirit, created in the image of God. A Spirit that will live forever is who I am. We all are. Created by The Creator. Out of the same mold, God.

While I write, my wife is working on our ancestry. She said my great great grandma named her kids after presidents, Abraham Lincoln Lynn and George Washington Lynn. If she keeps going she’ll funnel down through a ship we call Noah’s ark, spread out a bit, then narrow again to wind up with Daddy Adam and Mamma Eve. Finally the search will end with The Father of All, God. A comforting thought. Healing actually.

From now on, I think I'll welcome my past. I know my past is not who I am. I'm not complete, true. I just have to remember to look back all the way, past an old rugged cross, built to bridge the gap from who I am to who I should be. All the way to The Father.

He’s probably smiling and saying, the same thing I tell the kids, “My how you’ve grown.”


Anne L.B. said...

Got a quote for you.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience." ~ Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Sounds kind of new age until you think about the fact that we're eternal beings living in a temporal world.

R. Holloway said...

Rob Bell said one time that most of life's pain comes from not knowing how to answer the question, "Who am I?"

And in the words of the theologian Roger Daltrey, "Who are you? Who-who? Who-who? Whoooooo Rrrrrrrrrrr UU r UU r Uuuuuuuu!"

Just having fun on a Friday... Seriously, nice post...

Denise said...

This was an awe inspiring post, bless you.

katdish said...

I think we are all the product of nurture and nature. Having kids sort of proved that to me. We are the sum total of our life experiences - it's how we choose to use these experiences that make the difference. Brenning Manning once asked if you believed if Jesus loved you for who you are and not who you should be, because you're never going to be as you should be. Very good post, Doug. Thank you.

Sherri said...

I have never spoken with anyone about this to know others feel the same way I sometimes (a lot of times) do about it...

While this brings me to my knees, seeing 'it's not because of who I am, but because of what You've done', it also causes me to wrestle with old demons. Maybe that is as it should be...who am I if I live such a content life that I don't know any failure or remember a time when all was not so well? Would I be a plastic face in church?

Thanks Doug. You tenderly touched a sensitive place.

FaithBarista Bonnie said...

Oh, I had the same experience when I joined Facebook 6 weeks ago. I am still afraid someone will find me. The someone(s) that I don't want to reconnect with again. I blogged about it and it helped my fears subside (not to say is gone).

What a vulnerable post you've written. It's helped me feel I'm not alone in this experience.

Wonderful song, so appropriate! Thanks for sharing the lyrics and the music!