Standing before the One who is all the world,
can it be that I matter?
Can it be that such a small thing as me
has a place in such a grand scheme?
And yet it is so.
I am empty of permanence.
I don't endure.
My days are limited and too few to fulfill the desires of my heart.
I am so small and temporary. And yet so important.
This pile of dust speaks!
This bag of skin thinks!
This frail body acts and makes a difference!
I am the only me that has ever been.
I am shaken by the knowledge that
I never existed before and will not again.
The Source rebirths, but never repeats.
Infinite possibility demands infinite diversity.
Whatever I must do I must do here and now.
Whatever gift I am to give I must give it here and now.
Whatever purpose I am to fulfill I must fulfill it here and now.
I am what I am here and now.
I am what I do with who I am.
By Rami Shapiro
I was listening to someone the other day who was talking to me about identity and how your upbringing shapes who you are, good or bad. He told me something rather wonderful, which I hope is true, but I have not yet been able to verify. He told me that there is a tradition amongst some of the Bantu people of Southern Africa. He told me “that it is said that the Bantu people sneak into the rooms of their children at night, as they sleep, and whisper in their ears, 'Become what you are.'
“Become what you are.” Not become who you are, but what you are. I thought to myself how wonderful it must be to have that song singing in your soul as you grow and develop. It got me thinking about who or what I am? Who or what I have been and who or what I might yet become?…The truth is throughout our lives we never stop becoming or maybe un-becoming…I try not to be too un-becoming these days.
I paused for a few moments and considered my brother’s question and retraced where the love for football came from. The truth is though I do not know. It has always been there. It is just something I love and have always done so. As a young boy I was obsessed. As I told him all we ever did at school was play football at break time and dinner time. I was never any good but I loved to play. Interestingly many people these days are surprised when they discover this about me as I don’t go on about it. I love it though. It’s not really very strange either. It is hardly a minority sport…(Muttley laugh)
It got me thinking about who are we, what are we? What shapes us? Is it our environment? Our ancestry? Our culture? How do we become who or what we are? As time went by someone or something kept on whispering in my ear “Become what you are.”
The first thought was from one of my ministerial influences Forrest Church and his little mantra for life “Want what you have, do what you can, be who you are.” It was the last bit “be who you are, or what you are” that was singing in my ears, my song for the week. It brought to mind Rev Peter Friedrich’s reflection on “Be who you are”. He suggested that most of what we learn to be comes from childhood emulation, that despite being rational discerning people we learn most of what we know by copying the elders in our lives like a giant game of “follow my leader”. In many ways our whole culture is based upon this that to be successful we have to look and be a certain way. Just think about the whole advertising industry that is driven by this sense of dissatisfaction because we are not living up to what we’re supposed to be. This is supposedly a good thing, that by seeing what is wrong with us we will somehow become better. We are visually bombarded and our ears are sound blasted by this ideal of what we ought to be. We all of us follow to some degree or another. If only someone or something was whispering in our ears, as we slept at night “Become what you are.” Never mind who you are.
“Become what you are.”
It matters what you are, it matters what you are, it matters what you are…
Each of us belong here, we each have a place here, we each have gifts to offer life, we each have a bliss that we must follow…to me this is becoming what you are, following your bliss…
While we are all part of a greater whole and we all make this greater whole at the same time we are each of us sacred and unique and in order to truly serve life we need to truly become who and what we are. We need to fully embrace what we are exactly as we are. This is not easy and it is certainly not painless, but it is absolutely vital both to ourselves and all life.
Life needs us to become what we are and put our whole selves into becoming what we are. For in so doing the very ordinariness of our daily living will become truly extraordinary.
Now I’m going to end this chip of a "blogspot"with a short tale from the wisdom of Anthony DeMello, it goes by the title “Most Wonderful Hash”
" 'What's so original about this man?' asked a visitor. 'All he gives you is a hash of stories, proverbs, and sayings from other masters.'
"A woman disciple smiled. She once had a cook, she said, who made the most wonderful hash in the world.
" 'How on earth do you make it, my dear? You must give me the recipe.'
"The cook's face glowed with pride. She said, 'Well, ma'am, I'll tell yer: beef's nothin'; pepper's nothin'; onion's nothin'; but when I throws myself into the hash — that's what makes it what it is.' "
So let’s throw our whole selves in, our whole selves out, in out, in out and shake it all…for if we do we will make something extraordinary…Let’s become what we are…