Friday, 2 May 2014

Mistaken Identity

What a snug fit
Following my last post I guess a number of people have been overcome with curiosity about my new Bass Guitar Case, so here is a photograph which demonstrates how the guitar is an ideal, very snug fit. Not much room for the guitar to rattle around inside that case!

The Stubble Look
I was swimming again today and as I methodically went up and down the pool I reflected on one or two things.  Since starting my Sabbatical I have not shaved.  It just seems nice to not have to do that.  As you can see from the other photograph here though it is not going terribly well.  I don't think my new stubbly beard looks very nice and methinks it will not last too many more days.  However I was reflecting whether people would recognise me if I let it grow into a proper beard.  Maybe some would still recognise me and maybe some would not.  That led on to me thinking of three occasions this year when there has been a case of mistaken identity.  The first involved me being mistaken for a Zumba Teacher which, for those who know me, seems a little incredible.  The second involved me being mistaken for the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Tim Thornton, who is a jolly good chap and a jolly good Bishop but who certainly does not look like me (which is very fortunate for him).  The third involved me being mistaken for a Fashion Designer in a Clothing Shop.

I won't go into detail about how this all happened, but it did make me think about our identities.  There is a very real danger that while I am on Sabbatical I will feel bereft and rejected because my role as an active Presbyter has disappeared, at least for a while.  Now I don't feel like that, and I don't think I will feel like it, but I can imagine that is a danger because so often we define ourselves by our roles or our jobs, or our responsibilities.  That is not really a definition of who I am though.  I am Christopher Philip Briggs, created in the image of the Triune God and an apprentice of Christ.  That is more to do with my identity than any role which is attributed to me.  That is not to say roles, responsibilities and jobs are not important.  But that does not make me the person I am.  I am a child of God, a precious child of God - and so are you for that matter.  The problem when we define ourselves by roles, responsibilities and jobs is that when those are taken away from us we almost do not know who we are and life can seem very barren.  Years ago I worked in the Superannuation Department of what was then the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.  It was a sad fact that too many people seemed to die not so very long after retiring.  The job was the reason for their existence (subconsciously rather than consciously) and it had been taken away.  They had mistaken their identity, just as many who are living today mistake their identity.  Just as I have been mistaken for various different people this year.  Indeed some people try to cover themselves up with various masks so they look like someone else (perhaps we all do that sometimes).

Back to the Bass Guitar and the case.  What a fit!  It's good when we find who we are and where we fit.  And as I ponder today I think I want to say that who I am is a person loved by God, created in his image, and where I fit is in his loving embrace.  Wow it is snug!