Earlier this week I was listening to one of Matt Chandler's podcasts, a sermon in his Colossians series, called Identity. (Usually I'd use this as an opportunity to recommend Matt to you, but there was some wacky theology toward the end of the sermon so I'm not recommending this one) The place where we as Christians should find our identity is in Christ, but as humans of the world, we find it in other places, people and things - our houses, physical appearance, accomplishments, our kids, social networks, etc.
As I listened I realized that much of what we as a culture find our identity in, has been stripped away in my life - I don't have my house, I don't have my social network and while I have my physical body - I don't have the majority of my clothes.
Like it or not the US military and their contractors have provided me an opportunity to take a look at my identity. What do I value? What have I believed is essential to me that really isn't? I'd like to believe that I am not overly materialistic and not overly consumed with stuff, but I still miss it. I definitely miss the convenience and comfort.
I realize that in this empty house I have it better than the majority of the world. I am in a house, with a functioning roof. There is food in the refrigerator and our two plates are more than many people have. My one pair of long pants is more than others have, I know this even as I wish for two pairs.
I also know that this stage is temporary and at some point will come to an end. I do hope that when it does that I don't forget the lessons learned - gratitude for the abundance I enjoy on a daily basis and that my true identity is not found in my stuff or my accomplishments.