Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Rose by Any Other Name

...smells just as sweet. -William Shakespeare still a rose. -Barefoot Hippie Girl=)

I know, I should have been a poet. Snort. This will surely catapult me to Shakespearian fame.

As I was biking this morning, I was again having profound thoughts. Simply because I am full of profound thoughts...(snort) I was thinking about the titles we do and don't call ourselves. A rose by any other name...

If you asked me, I would say that I swim, and run, and bike. That I am training for a triathlon. That I cook. That I blog.

I wouldn't say that I am a swimmer, or a runner, or a bicyclist (you wouldn't either if you saw me bike), or a triathlete, or a cook, or a writer.

And yet I have swam laps a couple times a week with very few breaks for over 15 years. I have run miles every week for the past five years. I have put over 400 miles on my bike since I bought it 3 months ago. I have participated in 3 practice tri's and I have 2 official tri's in the next 2 weeks. I cook everyday. I write five days a week. As a matter of fact, next week I will publish my 500th post.

So, what is the difference between swimming and being a swimmer? Or running and being a runner? Or writing and being a writer? Must I go faster or more or...?

When do you go from the one to the other? When can you own that title? Why do I hesitate to call myself these things?

Is it a matter of pride? Is it exhibiting pride to call myself these things? Is exhibiting any more pride than simply talking about running the miles or writing the posts?

Is is a matter of insufficiency? There are many people faster, more dedicated, published? Would people see my weakness and failures and ploddings and think of me as a poser? A fraud?

Is it a matter of expectations? If I claim these titles, does it make for greater culpability? Greater responsibility? Less excuses? Now we're serious... Will people expect me to be faster or brilliant because this is what I call myself? Does this take it from a hobby to an obsession or profession?

Is it a matter of identity? I am more than a runner, swimmer, athlete. I am more than a cook or a writer. Each one is part of my makeup, but none completely defines me. They are a sum of the parts, not the whole.

Is it a matter of, well, of what?

See, I am also a wife, a daughter, a mother, a Christian. Each of those titles I gladly own. Each required very little from me. I was married, born, gave birth, trusted Christ's work on my behalf. There was no trial period, no proving ground. I didn't have to jump through hoops. I just was these things. Okay, well, becoming a mother required a bit of effort, but you know what I mean.

Speaking of titles and owning them, Jesus Christ, God, has hundreds, if not thousands of titles. Names and descriptions that each give a glimpse of Who He is. None show the whole picture. All combined wouldn't give the whole picture. Yet He calls Himself the Shepherd, Shield, Hope, Father, Almighty, and on and on and on.

Titles aren't a bad thing. They are descriptors. They show ownership. A title doesn't change what's inside the book, it just gives an idea of what to expect. A title doesn't change what I do and who I am. Whether I call myself a runner or say that I run, I still run. The foundational action hasn't changed.

Be or do? Who you are or what you do?

I wonder if it boils down to a confidence thing. Not confidence in myself as much as confidence in God and His call on my life. Are the things I am doing what God wants me to do? Are they the path He has set me on? Even the non-spiritual things like health, fitness and cooking? To be sheepish and shy, mightn't that somehow cheapen God's gift and call?

Runner, swimmer, cook, writer. 

I'm not saying to inflate your image. I am not pushing the power of positive thinking. Don't claim to be a marathon runner if you have never done it.

Maybe I am way off here...I don't know. It's just my not particularly profound thoughts.

What are you? Who are you? Who has God called you to be? How do you refer to what you do or who you are? Share with me in the comments...