Who Am I…
I love musicals. One of my very favorites is Les Misérables which also has a beautifully written book. There are so many characters within the story that touch my heart. Recently it has been the protagonist of the story that has been touching me even more. Here is a character who struggles with the decisions he has made only to be thrust into a life he never expected. Of course by the end he comes to the realization that he would not have traded his life for anything.
When I look at my life I often begin to wonder what it would be like had I made different decisions. It is often with regret I look at many things in my life that I consider mistakes. If only I had made better decisions then maybe I would happier in life, maybe I would be a better person, maybe I would feel as if I am not a waste of a person. In the end, however, I look to Jean Valjean and the moment he begins to accept his life. It all begins with the song, “Who Am I?”. by the end of the song Valjean realizes that he must accept the decisions he has made and make the best of his life.
But how can I do the same? I came to the realization that the decisions I made whether bad or good have led me to a point that I would not want to change. A good example of this life affirming moment came just last evening. Kari and I attended the 2014 Spring Sing out at Oklahoma Christian. Now I was not involved with the clubs and that is one of the decisions I do regret. After the show we met a some of the “kids” that we had come to watch. Now if you learn anything about me is that I love to call “kids” I have worked with, especially ones I’ve watched grow up, “my kids.” As we were talking I realized I had five “kids” in college. That wasn’t the realization though. One of the boys I have watched grow since he was about 4 years old was actually over at his dorm. His sister who had been in the show texted him to let him know we were there. Some college kids would probably say, “Okay I’ll catch them later.” Not this one though. He came back over just to see and talk to me. Gotta tell you that it felt good to be that important to someone. After we had all finished talking, after all the “kids” needed to get some sleep for the next day, I drove the young man back to his dorm. I figured he would just hop out, thank me for the ride and then it would be another stretch of time before I saw him. Instead he stayed and we ended up talking for another 30 minutes just about various subjects. What a great “kid” to want to spend time with me. I hope when I do have a child that I am able to teach them such love for the people in their lives.
I have never looked at myself with much thought about whether I am worthy of this life God gave me. At many times I have thought that I wasted it. But now I realize all those choices have led me here. From my marriage to my friends to my family I can say that I would not want anything different. This is my life. I am happy to have people around me that love me and that I can love. Perhaps I haven’t always made the best decisions, but by accepting them and moving forward I can continue to become a better person. I also now know that just as God is there to guide me and help turn those bad decisions around I do not need to feel that I am a waste. Instead I should feel honored that God desires to be by my side and that if he can love me so much then I must not be a waste. After all God makes no mistakes and I am his.
Who am I? I’m Joshua Lake, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, and most of all a Christian.