I’m eating a late breakfast by myself at the Edgehill Studios Cafe in Nashville, TN.  It’s not quite 10:00 in the morning, and I’m sitting at the large wooden island in the middle of the place, a sort of “plug-in station” full of power outlets and network jacks, presumably for those like me who love a good coffee shop that’s laptop-friendly. You know the type… It’s that trendy sort of place with the artsy atmosphere… the kind of place that actually has a permanent stage for open mic night and live music… that kind of place.

I’m staring out the window at the cars going by, the lady sitting at the outdoor table reading a book, and the big solid green trees lining the street under the pale blue sky, and the thought occurs to me, “If I were a blogger, this would be the perfect place to come and blog”.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know that part of the whole “blogger” ethos is the idea that you can post your pithy pearls of private wisdom from anywhere, at anytime, that you don’t have to be stuck to one particular place or one particular routine.  After all, isn’t the whole point to be somewhat nontraditional, maybe a little maverick?  It’s kind of like the mystique of the “blogger” is that they are the rouge writer, the independent journalist-type who takes on “the man” while staying one step ahead of the conformity police… at least that’s what *I* always thought about it.

Maybe that’s why I’m not a blogger.  It’s not that I don’t have plenty to say, it’s just that I realize that for me, it’s probably more attractive to *think* about having the “blogger” image, than it would be to actually do the work of blogging itself.  After all, consistently cranking out clever commentary can create creative diversions from countless other callings.

Maybe that could be said of a lot of us, about a lot of things…

In those quiet moments of self-awareness, when we realize that there is so much we could do, if we could just pull it together, maybe we need to realize that we can spend so much thought and energy wondering about what we “could be”, that we don’t spend enough time working on what we already are.  Maybe it’s the pervasive image-focus of our culture that makes us always be looking around for some other activity to make us feel unique, some other identity we can assume to make ourselves feel special.  Whatever it is, it’s a bug that tends to bite me pretty often.

One thing I do know for sure though… Regardless of what images or dreams keep coming back to entice me, who I AM, is not determined only by what I DO.  My identity, my sense of self, can never be successfully rooted in my activities or accomplishments… it can only find true stability in understanding my worth as a child and image-bearer of God.  In a world that offers to dispense potential personas like so much candy from a vending machine, that offers to tell us who we are if we’ll only play the right game and pay the right amount, my hope and prayer is that I, and all of us, will remember that we need not pay the price for an activity-based identity, but rather accept the free gift of knowing that we are loved by God, and to all who will accept it, He offers the most precious identity of all: Child of the King.

Phillip Gonzales
7/17/08