What Am I?

I often think of where I’ve come from and who I’ve become, but rarely about what I am. Knowing what we are defines us to ourselves more than to others and adds a sense of certainty to life. It simplifies life because we can use it as a test for everything that confronts us. Is what is at hand in alignment with what I am? If yes, then proceed. If no, then reconsider. People who definitively know who and what they are, are better able to move quickly and with less uncertainty. Something either fits, or it doesn’t. These are the folks I think of as being comfortable in their own skin. They know exactly who and what they are, and they are comfortable with it.

My friend Jamie has decided that he is a writer. It fits perfectly for him as nearly everything he does comes back to writing in one way or another. And, he has actually published and made money from his writing, so yes, he is a writer. He is an example to me of one who has worked it out, who knows not just who but also what he is.

I enjoy writing as well, but I don’t think of myself as a writer. I blog because it gives me a chance to write about whatever hits me in the moment. I journal daily, sometimes in more than one place, and I have a larger project in the works as well. Does that make me a writer? I don’t think so, at least not yet. I think of “a writer” as someone who studies their craft, someone who’s passion and/or livelihood derives from their efforts. If that’s the definition, then it’s not me (although the passion is there at some level). Me? I just write what flows, without much more than an initial thought. I know, I didn’t need to tell you that, did I?

Writing and landscape photography are my two strongest avocations. In both cases, I am a self-trained find-a-way-to-make-it-work practitioner. I suppose that if I could be a world-class anything, I would love it to be photography. It is something I derive great satisfaction and pleasure from. I’m a “senior” landscape photographer; I like to get out, hike, explore, discover, and revel in what the Creator presents, but I need to be sensible about it. I’ve yet to find a hiking buddy, so I look for easy to get to spots and make do with that.

Here’s the thing – God meets me there every time. It may not always be where I prefer to go, but it is exactly where He meets me. I can sit for hours just watching, listening, praying, meditating, musing, and dreaming. It is quiet, peaceful, serene, and wonderful. I love the hour before sunrise, although I rarely see it, and the hour after sunset, my more natural time. These are the two best hours of the day for landscape photography, and I love being out then. God is so faithful, He is always there. Any good image I happen to capture is just icing on the cake. It’s the experience and encounter I’m after.

I don’t have the best gear or lots of photography education, but no lens can capture what is in my heart in these moments. To be in the midst of His creation, to encounter Him there, and to be in awe in His presence. These are more valuable to me than the things of life. I may not have everything I desire in life, but I have His love.

And that, I suppose, defines what I am. I am a lover of God.

Shalom

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