When the Cubs won tonight, the first two players interviewed on camera both said what turned their team around was a speech given by a teammate moments before the final inning. Jason Heyward played right field, had a mediocre batting average, and was not a veteran member of the team. But what he said in the locker room wasn’t about playing differently or wanting it more. He told them about their identity:
“I just reminded them who we are.”
The Cubs aren’t losers, even if they lost a lot. Realizing identity is powerful. Star players Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist both said their World Series win had something to do with being reminded of that.
For me, though, it’s difficult to explain who I am to myself sometimes.
I am not the sum of my emotions. Just as I am not simply the sum of my actions. Who is it that tells me who I am?
I haven’t the authority to definitively pronounce what somebody else’s identity is, nor do I have that authority even over myself. For I did not make myself. I’m responsible for myself in the sense that “myself” is under my control — but not in the sense that I had anything to do with myself being myself, or being here at all, or being here now rather than any other time.
I feel, in my honest moments, that I hardly occupy myself, like a semi-absent tenant. I am me, but I did not set it up that way. My me-ness has almost nothing to do with me. I am a creature, and therefore only my Creator has the authority to define my identity. I will hear and trust what — who — He says I am.
The Book of Isaiah, chapter 43, verses 18 & 19, says:
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”
Newness springing forth is what I live for. This is more than Think Positive. No. It’s: You Are Not Qualified To Say Who You Are, Because You Are Flawed And That Flaw Damaged Your Sensor To Accurately Ascertain Your You-ness. In other words, you’re stuck in a wilderness with no way through, or a desert with nothing to drink.
“I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”
Good thing new things are happening. In baseball, and (unrelated) within myself.
Ask the Cubs about one hundred and eight year-old deserts.