Monday, July 9, 2012

What I Do and Who I Am: A Life Observation

While I am an introspective-type person, I don’t always “blog” my self-centered, selfish-type feelings. Or perhaps I should say that if I do, I’m not aware of it (ignorance is bliss). But, of late, I have had cause to pause and think, moreso than usual, about what I do and who I am.

There is a difference, you know, in what you do and who you are. I think it helps with self-realization to recognize that difference. As an example that is not so personal, if you identify your SELF with your job, and you lose your job, you’re left in a bad place. But if you know how to distinguish what you DO (your job) from who you ARE (not your job at all), then the loss of the job does not affect your life at the core. It affects what you do, but it does not affect who you are.

Back to the self-confessed introspection:

“What I do” has changed over and over and many times through the years. “What I do” has included (obviously not limited to):

  • Being a student
  • Being a secretary
  • Being a teacher of elementary students, high school students, college students
  • Taking piano lessons
  • Giving piano lessons
  • Teaching Sunday School
  • Being church pianist
  • Working for IBM
  • Doing my hobbies
  • Doing the laundry
  • Cleaning the house
  • Cooking

“Who I am” goes to the core of my being. “Who I am” includes (obviously not limited to) being:

  • A Christ-follower
  • A Conservative in philosophy
  • A Daughter
  • A Wife
  • A Mother
  • A Grandmother
  • A Sister
  • A Leader
  • Honest and Ethical
  • A Friend
  • A Mentor
  • *Teacher
  • *Homemaker
  • *Accompanist for Church

*Sometimes there is an intersection. Sometimes “what I do” happens for so many years and reaches the level of importance in my being, that it becomes an integral part of “who I am.” For example, teaching. I have been a teacher for so many years, that “teaching” is on the list of “what I do” AND “teacher” is on the list of “who I am.” Another example of an intersection: cooking, cleaning, doing laundry—those are things I do, but they are also part of who I am (homemaker).

Such is the case with my music. I have played the piano since I was 10. I started “playing for church” when I was eleven. I am now 65. So, for 54 years I have “played for church.” Somewhere along the line, or maybe starting when I was eleven, playing for church became part of who I am.

I could write a story about each of the areas of “who I am” (and I could add pages to that list). Right now, what is on my mind is the “playing for church” part of who I am. The time has come in my ministry of serving to pass the baton, in that area, to the next person. It is difficult because it means giving up, at least for now, maybe forever, a part of myself. But it’s the right thing to do, and it is the right time to do it. What makes it easier is that the person to whom I am handing the baton, is my grandson. So, in a way, I can see that “playing for church” is still “part of me.”

For the season of my life when I had the opportunity to use my music in God’s work, I am thankful.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.    Ecclesiastes 3:1

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