In the article below, Hannah discusses desiring purpose, “keeping at it”, and finding identity in Christ.
Finished. I close my laptop and sit back in satisfaction. I have spent the morning sitting in a coffee shop, notes of jazz and probably Beethoven in the background, as well as a steady stream of conversation that is friendly, measured, and kind. Amid the deluge of papers, assignments, tests and quizzes that this week has offered, one morning spent in a coffee shop feels heaven. It gives a few hours to reclaim some sense of what it means to be at peace, and victory over to-do’s that have been looming over my head like so many brooding rain clouds.
“You need something to identify with to keep going.” A woman had said earlier that morning, another college student that made herself comfortable at the edge-of-town Starbucks. Her friend nodded assent. When we have nothing to identify with, our college work becomes meaningless. I can’t let this become meaningless. She went on to explain. I lost track of the conversation as I refocused my attention to writing an essay- but the woman’s words stuck with me the rest of that morning.
What she said was simple, but with alarming implications. We make sense of life with reference points. We use maps to show us where we are in relation to cities and streets. We reference where we are now with where we’ve been and where we hope to go. As Christians, we identify with Christ. Yet, the moment we feel as if we have nothing to identify with, our work (or our lives) can seem meaningless. As this college woman despairingly expressed, it can be hard to function without identity. What is meant here is not identity in terms of knowledge of one’s unique characteristics, but identity as it relates to being part of something bigger than oneself.
As Christians, we may state that God is enough. Yet He is not enough if He exists as just an idea in our heads, or breathless words on pages. God is not enough if we limit him to our own narrow, contrived vision. When we box God in, we cease to see Him as just and loving, merciful and kind. We no longer identify with who God really is. And when we cease to identify with Christ the way we were designed to be in relationship with Him, our minds should send off as many warnings as a GPS stuck on “re-calculating”.
We are meant to identify with Christ in what we do, who we’re with, how we love and live, and by tasting and seeing that He is good. We identify with Christ through presence, such as being around other believers. We identify through worship: the way we live our lives, and by conversing in prayer. If we desire purpose and fear meaninglessness, perhaps we should devote more effort to writing his name on our hearts, and not just our T-shirts or Bible covers. Then in Him, we will find not only context and meaning, but the value of “keeping at it”, whether that be getting through a tough season at work, taking a test in college, or typing homework in coffee shops.
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Art Credit: Pinterest