Who Am I

Who Am I

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3 September 2017 | Vicar Writes

Who Am I

By Terry Wong

From memorial, when man looked at the world around him - when he considered the heavens, moons and stars - he occasionally wondered, “Who am I..that He should be mindful of me?” (Psalm 8)

I was at a public evening event recently where a Cabinet Minister was a guest of honour. I have met him a few years ago where we had some personal conversations. He was still a new and junior politician then. That evening, I was just another face in the crowd. When he was shaking some hands on the
way out, ours met too, albeit briefly. I did wonder, “Did he remember me? Could he recall my name?” But who am I, that he should pause for a “we meet again” conversation? Who am I, that he should retain my name in his memory given the countless people he needs to relate to?

It is only human to sometimes wonder about why someone important should even given us an eye-glance, let alone, a mindful occupation. 

From memorial, many individuals have stood at the threshold of a call to do something great and pause, asking this question and laced with self-doubt. 

Young Mary, when she was told that she would conceive, wondered about the physical impossibility of that. When Gideon was told that he was chosen to lead his army, he asked how could that be, given his poor ancestry and that he was the youngest and least important in his family. He was not born with a headstart that belongs to the socially privileged. (Judges 6:15)

In fact the “Who Am I?” question can illicit laughters of disbelief and incredibility as it did for Abraham and Sarah when they were told they would give birth to a son. Abraham was already a centenarian and Sarah, four scores and ten (Genesis 17-18). In this case they knew who they were only too well. What they could not come to believe was that God should choose them to parent a new lineage. 

Not surprisingly, Moses,  dubbed the meekest man on earth (Numbers 12:3), also asked, “Who am I?” when told he was to confront Pharaoh and lead his people out of Egypt (Exodus 3:11). After spending so many years in desert life, there was not much self-confidence left in Moses. 

Self-doubt is not a good characteristic of leadership, according to modern thoughts on this subject. However, classically and biblically, the humble pause and wonderment at one’s inadequacy may well predispose a person for the Lord’s work.

As He leads us to points of self-insufficiency, may we never imagine that it is beyond us to ask this question from time to time.

ABOUT THE VICAR

Terry Wong Photo

Revd Canon Terry Wong is the Vicar of the Cathedral. He writes weekly for the weekend Service bulletins and the articles are posted on this site.