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Thankful for Old Friends.

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Today I went to Waco and had the opportunity to hang out with a couple of old friends. Such friends are a wonderful gift to me.  People who have known you longer than your immediate context are often able to see and communicate to you in ways obvious to them but forgotten to yourself. The further in your history these friendships go, the more, of course, they are availed to speak such truth to you.

I think I often struggle with Identity; in that, I define myself too closely to current activity. If that is work, for instance (which it regularly is) then I consider my worthiness based on my career, and my emotions dive and resurface according to how I satisfy those worldly views of success. One of the greatest blessings of fatherhood, however, has been the challenging of this indeliberate yet highly consequential assumption. Progressively since the birth of Caroline, clarity has emerged in seeing my identity assigned to the stewardship of my family. (To be clear, I'm speaking at the moment to identity respective towards a vocational slant. My identity as personhood is unwaveringly centered in Christ and inclusion within His Body. At least cognitively - I'm still working on living this out, as evidenced by what I am writing now.)

So, with regard to the success of my life, I now more clearly see it related to how I am leading and loving my family. To the extent that I am able to present Katie as holy and blameless, to care for her and protect her in the love of Christ, in His provision and grace, is the measure of my husbandry. Similarly, to raise Caroline in Christ, modeling for her the love and wisdom of the Father, echoing to her as best I can the grace and provision of Her Creator, represents my call in fatherhood.  The combination of these two represent the major thesis of my life. (Obviously, appendices exist inclusive of stewarding relationships entrusted to me within the Community of Believers as well as declaring the Gospel to the outside world. In sum, faithfully living in community within the Body of Christ and representing to a groaning world its Savior).

Thus, my career, which seemed to so severely define my life, is now placed in a supporting role as a provision for the call of my life. And so, I return to friendship. Old friends remind me that I am larger than my job. I am an adopted child of God, procured in Christ and sealed in the Spirit. My calling in life finds definition and meaning in this - not my W2s and 1099s. Before I do what I do now, and before I did what I did before, these comrades and sages knew me...and knew me well. So, when I am blinded by my circumstance, unsure of the future and anxious about the present, old friends provide me perspective and assure me of hope in the future. Specifically, they remind me that God has always been faithful and will continue to be. Further, my calling in life is larger than my current occupation or what I will do in the future. My career is, of course, a ministry to those placed within my sphere, and I must work as to honor God; however, my work is not my determinant of joy and meaning. My occupation will most likely change and my circumstances will surly traverse through many seasons. My identity and my calling, however, are consistent and secure in my Savior and in being created and redeemed in His image to be a light in a dark world.

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