"Who am I?"

While I was a teenager, figuring out "Who am I?" was not simple. It was an unwelcome question. At times I knew whom I wanted to be like, but that usually was quite different from who I thought I was. I would have preferred to have the question go away, but life forced the issue, insisting that I decide what I wanted to do in life, who I wanted to be.

Periods of change tend to be times when the question of identity commands our attention. A change of jobs, moving to a new area, marriage, divorce—these are events that seem to redefine us. They often rouse insecurity. We wish our identity wasn't transitory. People want roots, stability, something secure.

Though we live in a scientific age, the natural sciences are not much help with the question of identity. I don't sleep better thinking that I'm about 70 percent water. I don't feel more secure thinking that I'm a random genetic pattern. The notion that I'm a mammal, genus Homo sapiens, doesn't put the question to rest.

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Our Christian calling
August 24, 1992

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