Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Been Long Time Since I was "Carded"

Some years ago - okay, like nearly 30 - I was standing in line at the local liquor store to purchase a "nip" bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon for a guest  we were having to dinner. As an alcoholic (recovering since 1980), I had finagled a million ways to get booze while I was under age. Though I had a battery of fake ID cards, I had never been asked for one when I purchased an alcoholic beverage. Ever! This particular day I was in my mid-twenties and never gave it a thought.

"May I see your ID, sir?" the clerk said.

Slightly stunned (I had been sober for over 3 years, and I was well over the legal age of 18), I pulled out my wallet and handed over my Connecticut driver's license. I was sort of indignant, but decided not to say "who the hell do you think you are!"

On the way home as I was musing over what had just taken place, I thought the person who I had been was not very accurately described on my ID card. Although all the information was correct, it didn't really say anything about who I was. And thanks to our newest blogger, Andrea York, that is the topic here on Kingdom Bloggers this week: identity.

Dr. Phil often talks about defining moments in life. These are basically the events that shape who we are. Some of the significant ones were my addiction to alcohol and drugs, an alcoholic father, sobering up, finding Jesus, divorce, mission trips, my heart attack, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, being a husband and father, and most importantly a couple of prophecies that rocked my world! The thing that I love about prophecy is that it reaches in and finds a portion of your spiritual DNA, making it visible. Some times prophecy reveals the way that God sees us, and that is very comforting - and on occasion unsettling at the same time.

In my life I have often been defined by the roles that I have had. To my high school friends I was a hockey player, a druggie, an artist and that crazy kid on the motorcycle. To my teachers I was the bottom of the class. To the cops I was nothing but trouble. To my kids some days I was God, and others days I was the biggest fool they knew. At their school I was Zöe' and Erin's dad, as well as the guy who could fix a PC in the parking lot. At church I was Mary Anne's husband and the electric guitarist. For a season I was a local superstar during the DOT COM bubble. In Brazil I was Pastor David. To my blog-mates I am a writer, and to my pastor I am a teacher. To my parents there is a long list of things that I have been which I am glad are under the blood of Jesus.

I sort of like psychology, and in the process I have take all sorts of tests for temperaments, spiritual gifting, the 5 Love Languages and personality types. I found them to be very helpful in knowing who I am, and on occasion, why I act like I do. According to the tests I am type A, and sometimes a B and a C - or according to Dr. Myers and Dr. Briggs I am an INFP. My love languages are time together and affection. Based on the MENSA application test, I am not a genius. Because I am a certified nut case, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory says I am not schizophrenic among other things.

The real question is this: Who is David, and what is his identity? As you can see, who we are is made up of many different elements. All of the things I have mentioned really speak to my soul, but not about my spirit or my heart. I have heard it preached that my identity is in Christ for as long as I have been a Christian. I still ponder what that really means. If the new man is really Christ in us, then I am in good shape - well if I believe it. The Bible says that David is an overcomer and more than a conqueror. The writer of Hebrews says I am of the sort that doesn't shrink back. It goes on to says that I am of a divine lineage which makes me a warrior, a priest and eventually a ruler. Some days I just don't feel like that at all.

The identity that I enjoy that most is being a son of the Most High. There I sit in his throne room with my head on his chest, listening to the heartbeat of all creation. That is where I get to be "me." I don't have to act, to perform, to use authority or rebel against it; I don't have to be good at anything and I don't have to be ashamed. I just get to be David, son of the Most High. And even better I get to call him Daddy.


Tracy said...

Appreciated the pic on the ID card since it made me laugh; you've certainly changed some!

Adore the way your wrote about prophecy in these words: "thing that I love about prophecy is that it reaches in and finds a portion of your spiritual DNA, making it visible. Some times prophecy reveals the way that God sees us, and that is very comforting - and on occasion unsettling at the same time."

Relate to the gratitude you seem to express about getting to be a child of the most High. I, too, am grateful that I don't have to perform or be ashamed; that He accepts me as I am and empowers me to become better.

Andrea York said...

Ultimately, we ARE sons and daughters which is where I'm headed towards on my own blog - a whole month of writing about identity.

As a daughter (or son, your case), there is nothing we have to do - just be, as you said.

Great lead in for the week. Have I mentioned how much I love writing on this site? I always love a party and it feels like a party here.

Tony C said...

Here's a pointer, when you make a fake ID, better to use just a white sheet for the background verses the tablecloth from the kitchen table....just saying.

I love reading stories about your past.