A line from The Road comes to mind as I write this; a beautiful, haunting line in which Cormac McCarthy describes a father and son as they embark on a long and dangerous journey:
Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.
Throughout the rest of the book, it becomes plain just how powerful the love between this father and son is. It is a fierce love, an overwhelming love, a burning love. And in considering this love, I am unfailingly reminded of the love God has for His children.
But I’m also reminded of something else. I’m reminded of the importance of identity, and where we, as Christians, find it.
Christians possess a unique identity: we belong to Christ. Who we are does not change with the latest fad. We are not defined by things of this earth. We are set apart, consecrated unto God.
But all too often, we lose sight of this simple fact. We get caught up in the here and now; we define ourselves by the temporal. And we suffer for it.
Some may try to define themselves by the stuff they possess; the car they drive, the house they own, the paycheck they bring home. Others mistakenly think their identity lies with what they do, perhaps reading or writing, photography, or even blogging.
But these things, wonderful and marvelous as they may be, cannot truly define a man. And when a Christian tries to find his identity in anything other than Christ, he ultimately comes up empty.
In The Road, the Boy understands his identity: he is his father’s son, carrying his father’s fire. No doubt about it. Not only does he understand it, he treasures it. Without his father, he has nothing, is nothing. His father is his world.
Christians ought to view God that way. He is our all. Apart from Him, we have neither life nor hope. And when someone asks who we are, our first answer should be, “I am a Christian”. Because in the end, that’s all that matters. Not whether you sold a dozen paintings or made the New York Times bestseller list or won an Oscar. Only whether you’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galations 2:20