“Who are you when everything’s been stripped away? When everything you’ve relied on to have a sense of life or purpose or meaning is gone?”
Those are the questions that David McIntyre, a former missionary, asked when he was a contestant on History Channel’s “ALONE” television program — a show that followed ten participants who were spread across the wilderness of Vancouver Island during the season he was on the program to see who could survive the longest. Contestants were completely isolated, even recording their own thoughts on video.
Such isolation causes deep introspection about the lives they are living, the decisions they have made, and what really matters to them — as was the case when David asked the probing question about who you are when everything’s been stripped away.
As I thought about his question, I considered my writing. It helps me to make sense of the world, but it’s not my ultimate purpose. And I thought about the number of times I’ve been a caregiver. Those stages of my life have always made me feel like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing and they brought unexpected, sweet blessings. But again, caregiving isn’t who I am. It’s just something I have done. If I were plucked from my home this afternoon and dropped into the wilderness, I wouldn’t be doing either one.
At my very essence, I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. Strip everything away, and that’s who I am. I limp along behind him, knowing he defines me, empowers me, and ultimately loves me. He feels the same way about you.
Consider David’s questions this weekend. Who are you when everything’s been stripped away? When everything you’ve relied on to have a sense of life or purpose or meaning is gone?