A story is told of Victoria, who was to be Queen of England in the 19th century, that she had a nanny, who is a very good nanny in that she repeatedly told young Victoria that she was destined to be Queen of England, that one day she would be Queen. And at one point, the girl said to her nanny: “Is it true? Will I one day truly be Queen of England?” And her nanny said: “Yes, you will.” At which point, Victoria responded by saying: “Then I must begin now to act like a queen.”
Often when we approach the question of our identity or answering to the question of “Who are you?”, we tend to find the answer in the past or present. Some may say that I am who I am because I had such an upbringing and such experiences, i.e. I am largely defined by my circumstances. This is a common view in the realm of psychology and social sciences. Some may say that I am who I am because I made certain decisions in the past and I continue to make decisions that define who I am at every moment, i.e. I construct my identity and destiny. Hence the saying: I choose/buy/consume, therefore I am.
But rarely do we approach this from an eschatological viewpoint, finding our identity in our future destiny. As Christians, since we are destined to be risen glorified saints meant to participate in the eschatological community of the new heaven and new earth, we therefore are able to live out our future identity in the present, in community and in holiness, for which the Holy Spirit is continually shaping us for that potentiality and ushering us into that vision of the Kingdom. Just like what I mentioned in my last post: the true identity of the bulb planted in the soil is not what it seems to be now, but the beautiful tulip flower it will become.
Therefore, our identity is not dictated by our regretful past or our present ambivalent choices, but by the future destined and promised by the loving God. That is how we can be liberated to run towards the finishing line with confidence and with no regrets (Phil. 3:13-14).
I hope to talk more about this in my church’s upcoming TAGGED camp ~ Finding Your Identity.