Authenticity

At the beginning of this year, like a few other people I know, I prayed for a word to come to me as my "theme for the year". What is it that the Lord wants from me? What should I be working on? It was difficult not to go into an endeavor like this with preconceived notions or visions of grandeur, but still, I attempted to approach the Lord with simplicity of heart, truly desiring to know his will for me. 

From that holy hour, one word kept coming to mind: authenticity. I took the word to heart, thanked the Lord for what he had done, and joyfully left the chapel that day. 

Little did I realize, this would become the hipster word of the year. Everything I encounter seems to have "authenticity". If something is rugged, worn, or rough around the edges, it is deemed "authentic".... even if it took a team of specialists hours to get the worn-in look. What I found was not true authenticity, rather a cheap imitation - a desire to appear more than what something really was. 

Isn't that how we seem to go about our days? Always trying to appear better than we truly are? How many times do we portray ourselves as a glorified version of ourselves online, or in an important meeting, or in a job interview? Why can we simply not portray ourselves as who we really are?

I would submit that the difficulty lies in understanding our true selves in the eyes of Christ. 

When we stop looking at ourselves through the eyes of the world, we can begin to view our true worth. When we allow Christ to speak truth to our hearts, we can better understand our role in His ultimate plan. When we begin to understand who we are made to be, we can better see our role in relation to those around us. 

My co-worker, David once mentioned that he believes humility to be understanding ourselves in relation to others and God. Really knowing who we are designed to be and not desiring any more or less. That definition stuck with me, as last year's word of the year was "humility". This resulted in my keeping a copy of the Litany of Humility at my desk always and giving out copies as the Litany came up in conversation. 

How often, though, do we really try to understand ourselves, see that in relation to others, and feel comforted and at peace with that knowledge? It seems that continually struggling to improve can be more temporarily fulfilling than sitting and resting in the knowledge that God has a plan for you. Ultimately, striving doesn't really get us anywhere, and ironically, resting in the Lord's promise tends to give more than the striving ever did anyway. 

So tonight, rest in the Lord. Ask him to reveal to you what it is that would bring about an authentic you; a you that knows and understands exactly what the Lord desires of you and finds peace in the waiting. 

Lord help us to be still. Help us to wait, to rest, and to be patient; that we would find comfort in your will and never strive to be anything other than what we are made to be. 

 

Amen.