Our Identity in God

A small bird lands on a branch of a bush without disturbing the branch. A small bird weighs almost nothing. That’s how light a burden our possessions, our work, our friends, our loved ones should feel to us. Everything that we “own” are gifts for the journey through our life here on earth. We have to give it all up as we die. We can’t take one thing or one person with us through the passage we call death. So why do we cling so hard to what we feel belongs to us?
It’s a matter of identity and of fear. What we identify with is what we cling to. If we are defined by our houses and cars and the brand names on our clothes, if we identify our self worth with a certain income or status or the things we can buy or vacations we can take, we are very much identified by the values of the culture and must cling to these things almost desperately because we don’t know who we are without them.
If, on the other hand, our identity lies in God, in the ultimate reality, we see everything in our lives as a gift from God, even our life itself. We hold them lightly knowing that in earthly terms everything is always changing. We can be rich one day and poor the next. Or vice versa. A hurricane, a tsunami, an earthquake or fire can wipe us out in an instant. Or a war can change the political climate.
With a life and identity vested in God we can weather suffering and change because we know that we are loved, connected, forgiven and welcomed always. We may miss what is lost, but we rest in the arms of God who loves us. We have our identity in the Eternal, not in the transitory, always changing world. We may feel fear at times, but it does not control us.
Taking what we “own” and “have” lightly means that we are less attached to the material world. Working and living in it still we value our attachment to God and to our true selves more than the culture we live in. We are free! We are loved! We are forgiven!

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