As you who read this blog, you know that I have been greatly influenced by Dr James Houston of Regent College in Vancover, B.C. This single thought from him has had a great impact on my sense of self. It goes something like this, “Personhood is a gift not an accomplishment.” That is powerful, when you consider that our whole culture puts the emphasis on the indiviual, with its emphasis on the self-made man. But we need to remember, as Dr. Houston points out that an individual is a matter of our own creation. Identity is based on the accomplishment of the self. Freedom is that of a “autonomous self.” In the process we become a self enclosed self, living far from home. We live as Henri Nouwen observed as, “people without an address.” The result is a lonely, alienated self, seeking meaning and purpose in life
On the other hand, a person is one who is created in the image of God. Each person is unique and loved of God as “His beloved.” In being addressed by God we are called forth as persons. We are “made righeous” by the work of God in our lives. We are rescued from enclosed selves by God in Christ. Freedom for the person called by God is grounded in our life “in Christ.” Our life is one of openness before God as we respond to his call on our life. We hear the voice of the father, calling us my name. Responding to his call we come home “out of dark” of our self made identity, to live in the spaceness of God’s abundant grace and mercy
What does this mean for a wildman? It means we don’t have to go around created our own image of self. That is a lot of work, working on self-image. I have spent years getting beyond this dreadful habit. We can rest as a children in our Father’s embrace Paul tells us, “You received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:15-16). So, men relax in who you are. It is a gift. Discover your potential in Christ. The Psalmist give us help. “Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:2).