Summary: Who am I as a person as I examine the fragileness of life?
Isaiah 40:1-8, 28-31 “Who am I?”
As I tried to formulate this message a few things distracted me this week. I was distracted in my preparation by a funeral I conducted yesterday, which for me usually causes me to slow things down a bit and reflect on my life. I was distracted by a visit I made to a person who is struggling with cancer. Our discussions concerning life and death helped me focus somewhat on what I wanted to say but were more of a distraction than a help. And I was distracted by the news that the 21-year-old son of a good friend was killed in a motorcycle crash. It seems like death and bad news followed me around this week. And as I usually do when I am distracted and have trouble focusing I grabbed a CD from the rack by my desk and allowed the music to help clear my mind so I could begin to formulate what to say to you this morning. I do not know what it is about music, especially Christian music, but it helps push the distractions from my mind aside and allows me to focus more clearly on what I think God is asking me to say. I was amazed that one song on the CD I chose spoke directly to what I was trying to assemble in my mind. The song’s title is who am I? And as I listened to it and replayed it a few times, I began to reflect on the question at a much deeper level that I have before. Who am I?
And as I reflected on the question who am I I began to realize that life is a fleeting thing. Things we look forward seem to arrive ever so slowly and then with the blink of an eye they are gone. And when they are gone they become part of our history and the only way to revisit them is through our memories. When we are in the middle of a time of celebration sometimes we wish it could continue forever but all too soon it is gone. As I look back on my life I see things that I wish I could relive, I see things I wish I could change, and I see things that I enjoyed for what they were and for the time they lasted. My past and my present are all a part of the answer to the question who am I.
Life is fleeting but there are a few things in our lives that are guaranteed. One thing that is guaranteed is that once we are born we must live with our decisions. We are guaranteed that once we make a decision it can never be erased. What is done is done. We can try to undo things but the original decision, whether it is a good or bad decision remains. It is the same thing with words. Once we say something it remains just that, spoken words. They can never be unspoken or pulled back into our mouths as if never spoken in the first place. Apologies can be quickly made but the words remain out there. Another guarantee that we all are given is that at some time in our lives we will be a sinner. No one is exempt from that fact. We all sin on occasion. The final guarantee in life is that we will all die. Our lives have a finite end. But beyond the guarantees of life, the one guarantee many overlook is that God is always with you no matter how you deal with your other guarantees.
As I looked at death in a few ways this week I drew me to the question who am I. We all need to ask ourselves the question, who am I? We also need to ask ourselves if God truly does care for us. And we need to look at the fragileness of life.
Fragileness of life is another one of the guarantees I did not speak of earlier. A helpless infant enters this world and soon that infant begins school, enters college, and eventually is out in the world living his or her own life. And even as an infant grows into a strong adult, he or she is still surrounded by the fragile things in life. Fragileness of involves the times when we are not as strong as we though we were. When our emotions overpower our sense of strength we need to know who we are to help us survive. When illness strikes us we need to know who we are in order to help find our way out of the situation that is scaring us. No matter who we are or where we find ourselves, we need to continually ask ourselves, who am I.