Monday, March 28, 2011

WHO AM I??!!... Johnny the Tackling Alzheimer's Patient!

WHO AM I?!  Haha, oh man!  I have to admit, I love Scrubs!  It's like a less serious version of House.  But, if you've never watched it, Johnny the Tackling Alzheimer's Patient was a somewhat recurring patient.  I don't think that they ever actually discussed his case in any episode.  But he would randomly show up tackling people as he yelled "Who am I?".   Johnny wasn't my favorite recurring character (My favorite was Hooch [Hooch is crazy!]), but I always laughed a bit when he showed up.  

I wonder though, have you ever felt like that?  I sure have.  While I didn't go around tackling people, I certainly spent a lot of time running around asking the same question.  Who am I?  Of all of the things I have learned over the past few years, this is one of the greatest.  Believe it or not, I used to be much more shy.  I was not the guy to get up in front of crowds.  I was much happier blending into the background.  In freshmen year of high school, I was convinced to run for a chapter officer position in an organization I had joined (FCCLA).  There were only two of us running.  Me and my best friend Jim.  Jim won.  He won because I was too afraid to make a speech so on the day we were having elections I dropped out.  By the next year, I started to overcome this.  I went on to become our chapter's Vice President for two years.  In college, I was hired by the National Organization to be a part of their STOP the Violence team (STOP was amazing!  It's one thing I love talking about if you want to hear more!).  I was one of about 20 or so people that would present conferences at different state meetings.  There could be up to a couple hundred students attending.  I loved it!  I got addicted to this kind of thing.  In a few short years I went from this quiet, sit in the back kind of kid to someone who is far more comfortable speaking in front of a large crowd than having a one-on-one conversation.  I joined a few activities in college.  But I had this problem.  I couldn't join something and not be a part of the leadership.  I started to live and breath what I thought "leadership" was.  My identity became what I was involved in and what leadership roles I had.  And it didn't stop there.  My identity then became who I knew.  It became who I was seen hanging out with (you know, it sounds a lot more shallow now that I write it).  Basically, my identity began to be wrapped up in anything but me.  Looking back, I think that some of it was an effort to hide who I was.  because if people really knew, they may not like me.  Part of it was just not being comfortable with who I was.  Still, another part was not even knowing who I really was. 

When I left West Chester University, many of the activities that I defined myself by weren't there anymore.  Many of the friendships were also either not there or they had changed.  But I started to understand that I don't need to define myself by anyone or anything else.  I know who I am.  I know who I am in God's eyes.  I am His child (John 1:12).  I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).  I am no longer a stranger or a foreigner.  I am a citizen and member of His house (Ephesians 2:19).  I am no longer a slave, but a friend of the Most High (John 15:15).  I know that I am not perfect, but a good work was begun in me and will one day be completed (Philippians 1:6).  

I'm not just a figure head.  I'm not just some leadership role.  I'm not just an employee.  There is more.  I'm very fortunate to have had so many awesome opportunities.  I'm so richly blessed to be involved in some great ministries.  I'm so blessed for my awesome family and friends.  But beneath all of it, there is more.  There is a story.  There is a passion.  A vision.  There is a heart beating to share these things.  My involvements are just that.  They're involvements.  They change.  And that's okay.  Life is fluid and moving.  It's supposed to be that way.  What doesn't change is what's underneath.  What's making the heart tick.  

So, I know who I am.  Do you?  I mean, who are you?  Are you still running through life like Johnny?  Are you begging the world to tell you who you are?  Or will you step out and tell the world who you are?  


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