Becoming who we might be…

One of the most fascinating accounts in the Bible for me is Moses’ encounter with the burning bush. For those of you not familiar with this account, Moses is out in the desert tending his flock and doing the work of a shepherd. He comes across this bush that is on fire, but not being consumed by the flames. He soon discovers that the bush is being inhabited by God and that he is about to receive the assignment to go and free the Hebrew people. Up until this point in the narrative, things are somewhat unremarkable for me. However, towards the end of the interaction, Moses asks God who he is. God’s response blows me away. “I am.” In Hebrew this translates into the name of God as “Yahweh” or in some pronunciations “Jehovah.” In Latin, it is translated into “ego.” What fascinates me about God’s answer is that it does not allow for God’s definition. Throughout the entirety of the Hebrew Old Testament, the writers spend lots of time describing characteristics of God but are never able to fully define God as actions and qualities are not adequate to come up with a firm definition. In Genesis, we as human beings are described as being created in the image of God. That being said, we come into the world with our own sense of “I am ness.” Yet rather than resisting the urge to be defined, we rush to make our identity greater by attempting to define it. We spend fortunes on student loans and work endless hours towards professional goals that give us temporary accolades but ultimately have no permanence. We chase titles, degrees, and credentials hoping that the next one will better define us and make us feel better about ourselves. We seek out nicer cars and larger houses to prove to society that we have “made it.” We want people to define us as successful, yet even with all of our accomplishments and possessions we still cannot be fully defined. We spend our lives trying to define ourselves only to face pain and confusion when those definitions don’t turn out the way we had envisioned them. So, all that being said, what if you gave up on yourself? What if you let go of all of the little definitions about who you are that cling to your ego like Velcro? What if stripping all of that back is required in order for you to become the best version of yourself? Are you getting in your own way by trying to control too much and define yourself? Now, I am not saying to quit your job and go joins a Bedouin tribe in the Middle Eastern desert, but I am suggesting that you don’t let your personal definitions of yourself get in your own way. At best, these definitions are a limited representation of who you are, and at worst, they are actively working against you. A mark of spiritual and emotional maturity is letting go of definitions. We still have the same “I am ness.” However, we begin to realize that our “I am ness” is fluid and in constant motion. It is our evolution and our becoming. It is our creative driving force, and while we have the power to finish the sentence “I am…” We realize that we should not do so prematurely. God does not allow himself to be controlled by definitions. Nor should we, for when we let go of what we are, only then does the possibility exist for us to become what we might me.-

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