Identity (2A Coop)

April 31, 2022

This term, I have learned that “maturing” seems filled with learning through hard decisions and greater responsibilities, and I find that I often come before them thoroughly unprepared. Consequently, I’ve begun to learn that I need to take these in stride as opportunities to grow, both in faith and in experience. One opportunity I had was a time of fellowship in reading Every Good Endeavor with my friends (homes) during my co-op term — the experience was copacetic!

Upon some reflection, my takeaway centered around identity, although there were many other profitable areas of wisdom in this book. In the midst of work, we are called to glorify God and yet it must not become an idol, however, I realized that all forms of work and culture will always have some idolatrous discourse within it: envy, greed, pride, sloth, to name a few. It’s frustrating, work is profoundly frustrating, never as fruitful as I want and often a failure. Not only in working hours, but in things we all value — such as family, relationships, serving. Ultimately from this, I ponder, “is my identity grounded in more than family, relationships, serving, and my aspirations for work? If they all fade, can I parse out who I am and who God is?

Indeed, work will be frustrating. I learned that I should accept the fact that in this world, my work will always fall short. Nevertheless, I must still ask how it can be done distinctively and for His glory. God gives out gifts of wisdom, talent, beauty, and skill according to His grace — that is, in a completely unmerited way to both Christians and non-Christians alike. Every advancement in learning, every work of art, every innovation in healthcare or tech or management or governance, is simply God opening His book of creation and revealing His truth to us. As I progress through university, I hope I can continue finding work opportunities that give and receive love, in partnership with God in His love and care for the world. I cannot wait to see in which areas I will grow and learn next in this upcoming term — new highs and lows, but I know my anchor holds fast and that I find my identity in Him.

“May He help and strengthen all men in every good endeavor” (John Coltrane)