The Question We All Ask

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 9 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.


We had finished reading a book and I was about to turn off the light when she sat up and said, “Dad, I have a question for you. What have you noticed is my talent?”

Maybe that doesn’t sound that big to you, but what I heard was a little different. In her simple question I heard, “Dad, you know me best. You and mom are the people I trust most. Please define me. Please tell me why I’m special and what I’m good at. Please tell me who I am.”

That’s what I heard, but the crazy thing about her question is that we adults still ask it. Today, across the planet, people like me and people like you are going to walk out their front doors and ask people they see, “Who am I?”

At jobs, we’ll ask our bosses and coworkers to define us.

At school, we’ll ask our teachers and classmates to tell us we’re special.

At home, we’ll ask our spouses or boyfriends and girlfriends to tell us we matter.

In a thousand ways today, like a seven year old who is moldable and curious and undefined, we will seek out friends and strangers, bosses and spouses and ask them who we are.

And the sad thing is, the answers will fail us.

They won’t satisfy, they never do. That beat, beat, beat of our inquisitive heart will not be stilled by their words. That hurt, hurt, hurt of our heads will not be numbed by our accomplishments. That hope, hope, hope of our souls will not be quenched by this world.

And so we’ll ask someone else, we’ll seek it somewhere else, we’ll sit up in beds and classrooms and cubicles and say, “What have you noticed is my talent?”

But let me save you the time, let me save you the trouble of digging through the mud for an answer that will ultimately prove hollow. For although I might not know you, for although we might never meet, I do know the God who knows you, and he is not quiet about who you are. Actually, he won’t stop talking about who you are.

You are the reason he rises in the morning. (Isaiah 30:18)

You are the one he quiets with love. (Zephaniah 3:17)

You are the one he longs for. Not just likes but longs for. (Isaiah 30:18)

You are a child of God. (John 1:12)

You are an heir to the throne. (Galatians 4:7)

You are his workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)

Today, the world and the people in it will try to tell you who are. That’s just how this planet spins, but that’s not an open question. That’s already been determined. Whether you’re a mom in Australia or a student in Ohio, a teacher in London, or a surfer in California, I already know who you are.

You are the only part of creation God breathed to life. (Genesis 2:7)

And that’s enough.