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Who Am I?

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A few years ago a fad started among some of the young people who had to know: "Who Am I?" A simple birth certificate wasn't sufficient. They usually had to get away from homefolks and do some­thing stupid in order to assert their independence. That was supposed to demonstrate who they really were.
The very idea of discovering who I am doesn't make sense in the context of inexperienced youth trying to see how much they can get away with as young adults. But it struck me that maybe we really don't realize who we really are.
We recognize one another by what we see. We are all different in our facial features, body shape and size, the sound of our voice, etc. We respect each other's various talents or abilities and the way we conduct ourselves. But we cannot see each other's soul or spirit. That is the real person. That is who we really are.
As you know, I am a 180 lb. bag of aching bones with little will power and less strength. I try to take care of my body somewhat. I feed it often (too often). I wash it occasionally. I try to dress it comfortably, and exercise it now and then. I constantly monitor all the little aches and pains, and give in to all its desires. I indulge it constantly. But is this bundle of flesh and bone all that I am? Of course not! Our body is only a place for our soul to live while in this world. We might expect our body to last three score years and ten, but our soul lives forever.
Our bodies are really just the pack­aging for the soul. When the spirit leaves the body, the package is just to be discarded. Still, even in death, a great to-do is made over the empty package.
Everything that is fleshly, as our body is, is weak and decaying. The strength of our fleshly body will fail. In fact it is in a constant state of falling apart. We cannot trust our fleshly body to save us in this life or in the life to come. Just the word fleshly denotes weakness, not a place to put our trust.
Two of the biggest industries in this country are entertainment and health care. Both are geared to please the body. The only industry there is to strengthen the soul is the church. Even many of the worldly churches are rid­dled with greed and deceit, and some churches could be classified as enter­tainment.
If we pamper our bodies so much, though its span be so short, how much more attention should we pay to our eternal soul?! We know the value of one soul is more than all the wealth of the earth's treasures and yet, we each possess one of our very own, but often neglect and abuse it.
Seeing that we have in our care this precious possession, how should we nourish it? The soul doesn't get hun­gry, but we must feed it often with study. It doesn't get soiled (to the eye) but we must wash it in repentance. It doesn't require any clothes, but we must present it to the world dressed modestly in good deeds. It doesn't get aches and pains, but we must attend to its health and vigor with spiritual exer­cise. It doesn't get lonesome, but good company strengthens it.
We may get concerned when our bodies fail, but we should be more concerned when our neglected and abused soul becomes weak. Will it be in fit condition to stand in the presence of God and Christ after our bodies have finally failed completely? It all depends on the care we have given it while it was in our possession. If we have spent all our time entertaining and caring for our bodies, our soul just might be as weak as our flesh. With proper care and feeding, our souls could be in the very picture of health and youthful vigor in the great judg­ment.
In this life we are granted a measure of joy and sorrow. This is to help us decide which we would like to receive in fuller measure when the soul leaves its "wrapper" and returns to the Mighty One who gave it to us for our care.
Who am I? I am a living soul who abides in this bag of flesh and bones. You can see my fleshly body, but only God can see my soul and judge whether it be strong or sickly.
-714 Vogel, Rockdale, TX 76567


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