Defining is a B I G word! Why there are defining moments, defining attributes, defining events, defining decade and on and on. OF COURSE, my first step was to consult Mr. Webster and see what the number one definition of defining is-
to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of
AND for all you English buffs out there, it is a transitive verb. LONG AGO forgot what that meant, so had to look it up also. A transitive verb requires an object--thus defining moment.
Our High Reverend spoke of What Defines You? this past Sunday. WELL NOW--that started the wheels turning! I began thinking of all the hats I have worn and labels which define who I am. What are the essential qualities of who I am?
Until 2001 I was known as Louise's daughter. That certainly has played a center role in who I am today. I still frequently repeat lessons from Momma and especially laugh at her sharp critique of my short comings.
Mother & Grandmother
One of the largest contributors to who I am today has come with raising three children and being blessed with six grandchildren. I now call myself an inactive duty mother. The point of raising children is for them to leave and cleave. Thankfully this is now accomplished. And as for these grands, WELL, they have reintroduced me to my childhood.
This picture is of the running group I was privileged to run for years with. It is a small sample of all the wonderful friends God has placed in my life. This past weekend I spent hours with the friends from my childhood. Every Sunday and Wednesday I spend time with my Spiritual Community. Friends from all walks of life and various common interests have helped to define who I am. Life-long friends who know me better than I know myself have walked by my side all these years and never strayed.
There was a day, I truly was an athlete of sorts--endurance athlete--running long distances. That ship has sailed, but the lessons I learned and the discussions I had while pounding the pavement have not been forgotten and played an intricate part in defining who I am.
Retired now, the quest for certification and the years of actively working as a CPA defined who I was professionally. Are there ever any clear cut lines in our lives or compartments to neatly close away from our other roles. I think not. My years as a CPA defined my conservative tendencies. Those tendencies were not limited to my profession, but bled over into all areas of my life.
Perhaps the hours I have spent volunteering have been the most satisfying and defining of all those outside of family. I have learned a great deal while sitting with a child and reading, painting houses after devastation, pulling nails while dismantling homes, cooking meals, working with the homeless, and many varied other volunteer activities. The compassion I have learned while serving others has helped define who I am today.
There are many others, but as I thought all of this over, I began to realize many of those attributes and labels which now define me were gained by roles which I no longer play. We are being defined every day until we leave this terrestrial ball by the roles we play. The one role which never changes--and I will always play the largest role in defining who I am is
This role--this choice--is ever changing and I am always morphing. God is using life to bring me closer to Him. Jesus is teaching me daily what true servant hood looks like. The process of sanctification on this side of Eternity is an everyday process. I am so thankful God continues to define me and mold me into the person He wants me to be. What greater compliment than for someone to recognize me a Christian? Of all the defining labels and characteristics, none could be more important or desirable.
What are you labels, what are your defining attributes? A good exercise in introspection is thinking WHO AM I?
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
I Corinthians 5:17