One of the most difficult tasks in starting to write a blog is the whole business of preparing a profile, writing an “about me” page, describing who I am, what my background is, my family my experience my interests etc. It is an impossible task. It is like writing your own obituary but fortunately that is for someone else if they can be bothered. My pastor of recent years often began a tribute during a funeral service with the words “How can you sum up the life of one person?” And the answer is you can’t. It is impossible. Obituaries and tributes, memorial services and the like, always seem to me to be such poor pieces. They are never enough. They cannot ever adequately give true worth and proper value to the person who has gone and they sound so final. The life has past, now we move on. It is cut and dried and even when people say they believe in life after death, it is as if there is none. It is as if heaven is a non-life where the person has no role other than to sleep forever. There is something in that attitude that screams out at the soul “It cannot be true”
Yet it is hard to avoid the enormous pressure to summarise distil and define, a person so that they can be categorised in much the way that music is classified, in genres. If you like this, then you will like that. If you think like her, then you will be like them. It is particularly sad when people feel they have to define themselves and find their identity in something like their profession or their race or their class or in something as mean as their sexual orientation. For me, when I think about who I am, when I consider where my identity lies, I know that it is not in being a man, a father, a grandparent, nor is it in being an architect, a dabbler in painting, music and DIY, nor is it in being a Scot, a European a White Anglo Saxon Protestant Christian. My identity is not in my interests, my family, my roots, my sexual orientation, my ability or disability, or in my race. My identity is in Jesus Christ. That is who I am, someone who God has created and someone who knows and has experienced the reality of his love through Jesus Christ. That’s the bottom line and all the rest are peripheral and secondary. They may have influenced me, they may have shaped me in some way and made me something of what I am, but they are not me and they do not define me.
Forgive me then if you find my “about me” page a little cryptic.