Sunday, April 02, 2006

Saying "bye" to Urban Guy

I’ve been really bogged down lately with wondering where God was leading us as a family here in Glenwood. Should we buy another house to use for students to live in year round? Why would we do that when I can barely get any students to apply for GUPY this summer? Should we just wait and then move later? Would we have to move if our neighborhood improved too much? Do we stay in this house on Silver or buy another one and use this for a GUPY house?

Questions, questions, and I have put so much pressure on myself to find answers. In many ways I have been putting my identity in being Urban Guy. But the problem is that if Urban Guy is who I am, then I will make ministry and life decisions to uphold that identity, which leads me to serve in law, not in love.

Today I had a couple of simple, but profound, revelations. First is that I feel the most peace in my spirit when I think about staying here t 828 Silver, working on our house, and just loving our neighbors. And that is OK. I don’t have to have a grand vision for super ministry schemes. I don't have to have the road ahead mapped out. I don't have to work so hard to maintain my Urban Guy identity, and I don’t have to live as though my worth and identity lie in my work with the poor. Living in the future has been exhausting to me and has robbed the joy of the present from me.

Second is that I remembered, again, that my truest worth is in my sonship. I am a new creation in Christ, a beloved son of the Father, and I don't have to strive for significance or worth by being Urban Guy. I am Marshall (Chosen), dearly loved. Urban Guy will never be who I am, and that is freedom.


Sean said...

i hear ya.

any identity i found in ministry is pretty well dead by now.

not that it couldn't come back...

come Lord Jesus (and end this forgetting that i am Yours).

Macon said...

I imagine that how you relate to your neighbors would be colored by your self-perception as Urban Guy. You might be more apt to see them as props for your UG identity, or as means to the end of becoming Super Urban Guy. Since people are meant to be people and not props or means-to-an-end, this would have the effect of blunting your ministry and bogging down your soul.

So hurrah for the I'm-a-neighbor & I'm-a-Son revision of identity! Thanks for sharing this. It helps me to think about my own self-identity.

Marshall said...

Thanks, Macon, for deepening my understanding of how being Urban Guy can be poisonous not just to me, but to those I hope to love.