Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved… (John 21:20).
“I’m sorry, sir,” the attendant said, “but you’ll have to wait your turn.”
Incensed, the man demanded, “Young lady, do you know who I am?”
The woman calmly picked up the microphone and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, there is a man at the front counter who doesn’t know who he is. If anyone can identify him, will you please step to the front of the line and help us out?”
Needless to say, the humiliated man snatched up his bulging briefcase and returned to the back of the line.
A humorous story? Sure. But there’s a nugget of truth in it that we all need to hear, especially in this very busy time of year. Here it is: The greatest problem humanity has ever faced is not global warming or suicide bombers or widespread famine; it is identity crisis. All humans since the great orchard thieves (Adam and Eve) have spent their lives wandering this earth, trying to discover their identity. For the most part, they’ve failed.
People try to fill their longing for identity with accumulated wealth, fame, relationships, busyness, alcohol and drugs...any number of things. But none of it works. The apostle John is the one who nailed it when he referred to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved.”
Isn’t that the starting place for any of us who sense that longing for greater purpose, that built-in knowing that there’s more to life than serving ourselves and building our own kingdoms?
I have a friend name Sarah, who is a very talented writer and whom I recently asked for an endorsement for my next book BEYOND ME: LIVING A YOU-FIRST LIFE IN A ME-FIRST WORLD (New Hope Publishers, July 2008). Sarah graciously read my manuscript and gave me an excellent endorsement, but what most impressed me was the way she signed it: “Follower of Jesus.”
Unlike the self-inflated man at the airline ticket counter, Sarah knows who she is. She is, first and foremost, a follower of Jesus, even as the apostle John knew himself as “the disciple Jesus loved.” As the busyness of Christmas threatens to overwhelm us all, may we refuse to be caught up in activities and pursuits that don’t matter, and instead focus on developing and enhancing our true identity and who we are in Christ. May the assurance of that identity carry you safely and joyfully through your sojourn here on earth and on into eternity with Him.
Kathi Macias is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother—as well as an “occasional radio host” and an award-winning author of more than thirty books, including her popular international Extreme Devotion fiction series from New Hope Publishers.
Thank you for sharing your devotions with us through this column, Kathi.