“I don’t know who I am!”
Who are you, really?
Have you ever, in one of those disconnected moments, googled yourself to see if the almighty internet could reveal an answer to this soul-probing question? While, I have rarely turned to Google for the answer, I find myself wrestling with this question often.
A couple nights ago, after my wife and the girls had gone to bed, I found the movie “Wanted” playing on one of the movie channels here. It is a pretty interesting movie. There is one scene in particular that seems to have stuck with me.
Wesley, the young protagonist in the story, has been recruited into a secret society of assassins. During Wesley’s training, “the Repairman” continually ties him to a chair and beats him to unconsciousness while asking the question, “Why are you here?”. As you might guess, Wesley never seems to produce the answer they’re looking for and continues to suffer through these brutal beat-downs. Finally, in a seemingly broken moment, while peering back at his “trainers” and through blood-drenched eyelashes, he spits the blood from his lips and whimpers, “I don’t know who I am.”.
The Repairman’s job is to erase bad habits and false thinking. He breaks down his trainees until they acknowledge their lostness and become a truly blank slate. I find this process more interesting than the movie itself. Why is it that the average human needs to be torn from their broken-record life and have the piss beaten out of them (one way or another) before they can acknowledge their lostness and begin to engage their mind in seeking the truth.
Think about it… often times it’s the people we know who’ve really been through the fire, who have found themselves at true rock bottom (the real-life Repairman), who seem to find the greatest since of self-awareness and purpose in life. They may not always be the most successful people, based on our cultural standards, but being humble and comfortable in your own skin and accepting your own brokenness is truly the first step in discovering purpose.
I’m guessing, like me, many of you can’t really say you’ve “been through the fire”. I’d say maybe I’ve been slapped around a bit, but probably not much beyond a bloodied nose. Maybe the required level of beat-down is different for each of us, but I’m wondering if we can skip to the punch… can we choose to enter that state without all the bloody mess?
In the movie, Wesley is faced with the question we all face:
“It is a choice, Wesley, that each of us must face: to remain ordinary, pathetic, beat-down, coasting through a miserable existence, like sheep herded by fate – or you can take control of your own destiny and join us, releasing the caged wolf you have inside.”
While we’re not all faced with the choice to join an elite, secret society of assassins, we all have the opportunity to consider to what degree we are drifting through life simply accepting the life that unfolds before us. Ultimately, it is a choice: to remain ordinary and coast through a mundane existence, like sheep herded by fate – or to humbly come before God and seek the truth about who you are, tap into that incredible power and decide what life you’re going to live.
So again… Who are you, really?