As I lay here awake this thought crossed my mind. It's the night before Christmas eve and all the gifts are wrapped, stockings are stuffed but my heart isn't full. In fact, my heart breaks right now as I think of this holiday season and what it has become, to me it highlights an identity crisis within our nation. A society that no longer knows its own identity because it has become so caught up in materialism and self-centeredness. Where our individual importance and self-worth is determined by money, grades, job status, achievements, and so on and so forth.
Ask anyone today what do they define themselves as or what makes you good, they don't know. There is this perverse reality that if you accomplish this grade, are in this tax bracket, work for this company or can afford that vehicle you have somehow "made it" in society. No longer is someone free to explore and be themselves, longer are they defined by personal success or achieving their goals. No, suddenly in order to feel valued, to feel like others care we are doing jobs we hate, hurting others just to gain a promotion or stressing ourselves to unhealthy points just to try and prove to ourselves that we matter. I mean how messed up is it that in order to believe in ourselves need others approval?
So what happens when we fail to meet someone else's expectation of who we need to be or what we need to do? The answer, brokeness. It's so heartbreaking to see we have set ourselves up for failure. Just because you didn't get the grade your parents pressure you to have doesn't mean you are a horrible person. Just because you didn't take the job all your friends expected doesn't mean you suck at your job. We have to believe in ourselves and trust that we were all made with a plan for our lives. No other person gets to determine that plan or tell us who we are, we must believe in ourselves and our self-worth must be found within us, not outside us. That's why this time of year breaks my heart because I see how self-focused we have all become this doesn't exclude myself. Christmas has become about what can I get and how much of this can I earn or what extra could I gain. It's all about how I can feel better. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas as much as many of you do but there is also a lot of pride and self-focus this time of year.
It's an identity crisis at Christmas but it's clearly evident anytime of the year. Each one of us is built to do good and meant to be a part of other peoples lives but those very good things that are meant to push us forward often become our biggest stumbling blocks. We aren't the people we know or the money we make, we aren't the grades we get or the job we have. We are all human with special stories, those stories in our lives are defined by our choices and actions. If we would just realize our identity lies in something higher maybe we wouldn't be looking down to earthly desires.