I walked down the corridor of my new job, following closely on the heals of that gentle man who encouraged me into this new employment. I had never been a doctor, but I was excited at this new prospect. I was comfortable with the job and my present company. My socked feet padded the floor softly as we walked. I listened intently as my mentor talked with his assistant. I glanced down and noticed that they were comfortable and shoeless as well.
It was time for me to get started, so I turned and ventured my way to my new office. I had to walk the entire length of the hall again to gain access to the stair at the other end. A nurse or administrator stepped out in front of me a few people up and I watched her curious behavior. She seemed to be scanning the feet of every person around her, looking to see that they were fully shoed. Her behavior began to make me nervous as she took notes of who was properly shod and who wasn’t. I made certain to stay behind her as I didn’t not want to make her list.
Suddenly she turned enough to notice my way too relaxed attire. Instantly she had me by the collar and dragged me to a desk to report my indiscretion. A young man in much too neat attire was sitting behind his desk and wanted to know what was the meaning of this sloppiness. The nurse reported that she had found me wandering the halls without proper footwear. I protested, “I only just started, I honestly had no knowledge of these regulations. I assure you it will not happen again.” Never-the-less, proper documentation must be made. So with little understanding to my innocent ignorance they decided that I deserved a proper reprimand. I pleaded with my captors, “This isn’t necessary, assure you it will never happen again.” No use, this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.
I retreated to my new office feeling harassed. Pulling out my shoes and slipping them on, I wondered how such people could possible be without an ounce of grace. ‘Why such extremes for so little a violation? And I was brand new; how was I to know.’ I stared at the card in my hand; all professional looking with its wax coating and tan color. My name spelled out, I was a violator of company policy.
My office mate entered and found his way to the desk opposite mine. Moments later a young lady poked her head in the door and asked if we could get her a towel. Apparently, our office was also host to the supply closet. My office mate disappeared into a room adjacent to ours and materialized a white towel.
I stared at my card, feeling both abused, wounded, and angry. To more people entered the office with a stack of similar cards, all for me. “You need to work on a few things,” they both chimed, a giggle and a smirk hidden in their voices. ‘I beginning to not like it here,’ I thought to myself. Several cards illustrated with pictures every spelling and syntax error in the contract I had just signed. Another card illustrated the paper jam I supposedly caused and the proper condition one should leave a copy machine. “But, I didn’t even do this,” I objected holding up the card. They ignored me, shrugged and left. The cards filled my hands, their waxy coating and my name in bold, shouting at me, “YOU ARE A FAILURE.” Tears filled my eyes, and I wanted to die, or at least crawl away and hide.
When I awoke this morning I thought to my self, that dream probably wasn’t from God. I meant to dismiss it, but as I continued to prepare for work, the Lord began to reveal it’s meaning. Such is the value of working for human acceptance. So fleeting, their love is often governed by how they feel that day. Many would just as soon kick you if it meant their promotion. Fortunately, I have found I only have to ask, and heavenly Father will tell me once again why He loves me and who I am.
We work to gain approval, trying to curb our wrongs. ‘I’ll just replace this habit with a good one, just give me some time I can fix that,’ we say to ourselves not realizing the difficulty and fear that keeps those habits locked in place. God’s plan of transformation is entirely different. He does not fix our little problems. He replaces our identity.
While watching the newest episode of ‘Burn Notice,’ the hero of the story tells us that when a spy goes deep under cover, he takes on a new identity. The difficulty is that after months of eating, sleeping, and breathing as this other person, will there be enough of the old person left to complete the mission. The enemies tactic is to anchor us to our old identity through fear. This way we never will fully let go of the old and live out God’s identity for us. If we could live as only God’s identity, long enough, that old dysfunctional man would slip into oblivion. Many people try to deal with this anchor themselves; striving and straining against a thick iron chain, and the anchor, those old fears never move.
But love, the most important part of our new identity in Christ, has the power to pull up that anchor and disintegrate it. Except, that what most people are actually afraid of is intimacy. So I ask you, can you gather enough courage to let God show you His love? Can you sit long enough to let Him speak over and over again to that fear? If He speaks, you will know His love. A new identity would fix everything, it would fix you. But, you can’t hold onto your old fears. You need His voice.