When I was in 2nd and 3rd grade, there was a weird phenomenon at my school. Kids in my class wanted to get married to each other. Even though this seems a little strange and maybe even a tad freaky to me now, at the time, it didn’t seem like an odd thing at all.
When my fellow classmates decided to “tie the knot” there was one person they knew they could count on to preside over the ceremony- me! As a pastor’s kid, I had seen plenty of weddings. I knew all the right lines. I would start with a heartfelt, even misty-eyed, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today”. There was no doubt I could officiate with total blessing from on High. I probably presided over 4 or 5 of these sacred gatherings by the water fountain.
Fast-forward quite a few years… Even though it was never my aspiration (or even remote desire!) to be in full time ministry as an “old person”, it’s where I’ve ended up.
On a fairly regular basis, I find myself on a stage with couples as they celebrate the biggest day of their lives. It is a true honor to officiate weddings for people I love. Yet, sometimes this thought crosses my mind when I’m about ready to walk out onto the stage with the groom to await the arrival of his beautiful bride, “When are people going to find out that I don’t really know how to do this?!”
There are times I feel like that second grader standing by the water fountain giving this lovely young couple my official blessing.
What I’ve come to realize over the years is my experience isn’t unique. Sure, you might not ever be called upon to perform a wedding ceremony but I bet there are times you are riddled with doubt or a feeling of inadequacy. You are not alone!
Not long ago, I watched an interview with Tom Hanks. As he let people into the layers beneath the surface of his life, he admitted something striking. He struggles with feeling like a phony. One of his biggest fears is that someday people will find out that he isn’t really a good actor. What?!! Tom Hanks?!! If you feel like that too, you are in good company.
When I place my identity in “What I do”, I will always feel like I don’t measure up. No matter how much I try, my actions will never match the ideal I create in my mind.
My identity has to come from someplace deeper. I need to truly experience “Who I am”. This comes from a much different place. Maybe that’s why so many passages in the Bible talk about our identity when we join the family of Jesus…”Child of God”, “Light of the world”, “Chosen”, “God’s special possession” (just to name a few!).
“Who are you?”
When I answer this question from the way God sees me rather than by what I “do”, I open myself to experience life to it’s fullest.