Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm not who I thought I was.

Great message at church this morning. It was one of those where a LOT of stuff jumped out at me and I had to frantically try to note it all down. What stood out to me most though, was the verse below.

John 1:42 (NIV)
And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter ).

Being a Christian that was raised in church is an interesting thing. You've heard the basics probably thousands of times, but as your life grows and changes, those basics take on new meanings and God reveals new insights. I heard this verse and immediately thought back to who I was 10 years ago. I was 20, in my junior year of college. I was in love with the image of the suit-wearing corporate life and had been for years. (I transitioned straight from lacy, pastel dresses covered in glitter and tulle to double breasted skirt suits. Power skirt suits.) I was dating a really sweet, artistic Christian guy and was looking forward to all the cute heels I was going to buy to match my suits.

Well, my first job in my field was with a very laid back company. Jeans every day. Suits only when going on site with clients. I thought that laid-back, jeans-and-tshirt corporate culture only applied to Silicon Valley companies like Apple and Google, but I was quite wrong. My first couple of business trips, it was fun to walk through the halls, towering in a dark suit, ankle length coat and leather gloves. My boss at the time told me repeatedly that I had the "look" and "walk" of a consultant. Well, it was fun...all of two times. The novelty wore off and suits just became uncomfortable. Business trips became burdensome (and I really haven't been on that many.) 

I prayed, for YEARS to be removed from this job. I didn't explicitly ask for a more corporate assignment, but deep down, that's what I wanted. I sit now, 10 years later, thankful that I never got sucked into the whirlpool of traditional corporate culture. I call it a whirlpool because it's not something you just step out of. It really is an uncompromising, all-consuming, distinct lifestyle. Your values change. Habits form. Which, incidentally, is what I think your 20s are about...establishing habits and standards of living. I'm thankful God has taught me to live a relatively minimalistic life. I never developed a taste for fancy cars (though I do have a natural taste for fancy food:), high end electronics or name brands. My life now is happily composed of weekend cooking projects, training Brazilian jiu jitsu, building an organization to connect China and the US my quiet job and the occasional international trip.

I don't want as much as I thought. Well...that's not true. My wants haven't changed much. It's more that they're quieter and I now know that the things I want don't make me feel half as good as I'd expected. At best, they give temporary comfort. At worst, they make me feel I've eaten too much. But I know...that even years ago, God knew where my true happiness was. He knows my real name. He knows what suits me as an individual, and I know that the last few years have been about "purging" so many outside standards that I'd managed to absorb over the years. 

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