Who are you? — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Who are you? — Morning Devotions

Have you ever stopped to think deeply about who you are, and what you want from life? It's important to find these answers.

By Chris WittsTuesday 21 Feb 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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You know what it’s like when you try to phone someone and they’re not home and you’re invited to leave a message on their answering machine and the person usually leaves a recorded message and then you can respond with the answer. But imagine something quite different now. Suppose you found a number and a recorded voice said to you, “This is not an answering machine. This is a questioning machine. There are only two questions in life that are relevant. I want to ask you, ‘who are you and what do you want?’ Most people who phoned me don’t know the answer to both these questions. Please give your answer at the sound of the tone.”

Now I think this is a very interesting, intriguing set of questions, one that we probably should consider at least once in our lifetime. Who am I and what do I want? They are very basic questions, aren’t they? And I’m reminded of this and the popular musical Les Mis –

Who am I? Who am I? Can I conceal myself forevermore? Pretend I’m not the man I was before and must my name until I die. Be no more than an alibi. Must I lie? How can I ever face my fellow men? How can I ever face myself again?

My soul, he said, belongs to God. I know I made that bargain long ago. He gave me hope. When hope was gone. He gave me strength. The journey on who am I now?

It’s a powerful song, and I think it’s worth mentioning. This morning is the most fundamental of all questions. Who am I? And if you ask that question, usually the first thing you say, Well, my name – that’s who I am at birth, I’ve been given a name. When I die, my name hopefully will be inscribed on something as a permanent memory to my life. It’s easier to dodge a question thinking seriously about it. Yet it can be this sort of haunting question. Who are you? How can my life make sense? What makes me – me, special or unique? What is it that gives me value and worth?

I’m reminded of Sir Michael Costa, the great conductor. He was having a rehearsal. Musicians and the voices and the choir rang out and the organ and the drums and the horns were ringing, Cymbals clashing, and the piccolo player stopped playing and sitting in the corner of the orchestra, the piccolo said to himself, “In all of this noise, it doesn’t matter what I do.”

And suddenly the great conductor stopped and flung up his hands and he cried out. Where is the piccolo? Everything was spoiled because the piccolo failed to take its part.

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So it’s true that every one of us is valuable, that we belong. We are loved by God. Why am I alive? Well, that’s not a new question. In fact, Jeremiah from the Old Testament. The prophet answered this question over 2000 years ago. Jeremiah 20:18. Here was the question. He asked himself, “Why was I born? Was it only to have trouble and sorrow to end my life in disgrace?”

I guess they’ve probably been times in your life when you felt this way, Was I born just to have a bunch of problems? Or was I put on this planet to have grief and heartache and stress?

It was the author, Ashleigh Brilliant, who said, “My life is a superb cast, but I can’t figure out the plot.” Jack Handley, he said, “I hope life isn’t a joke because I don’t get it.” And Dr Hugh Morehead, the philosophy professor, wrote to 250 of the best-known philosophers and intellectuals of his day, and he asked them to respond to the question. What is the meaning of life? And he published their responses.

Some guesses, some admitted they made up purposes. Others wrote back to him and said, “Dr Moorehead, if you have an answer to this, would you please let us know?” And one person said, as far as I can see, there is no purpose.

A life without purpose, certainly not worth living. But I love what David prayed in Psalm 139 again from the Old Testament. “You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you God because of the wonderful way that you created me. Everything you do is marvellous. Of this I have no doubt.”

Who am I? I’m a person that God loves. God gives me meaning. He gives me worth. I am his child. I am significant. And I have purpose. So that’s you. It means that there is something very special about you and me.

Let’s Pray

Thank you, Lord, for these are truths that I can really respond to, amen.