Answering the question ‘Who Am I?” usually leads to follow up questions like “Where do I come from?”
Learning about where you come from can be a cultural exercise and a long jaunt through the history of peoples and places. It best starts, however, with a series of ongoing conversations with those that got you here and raised you.
In my case I acknowledge the key influence of my Dad in who I am both as a Dryden and as a man. His character and lifestyle was one I took for granted for about 20 years and then took very seriously in the last decade or so. I take it very seriously because it indicates some of why I am the way I am and why I approach my responsibilities in the way I do. Come what may, however far I go and in whatever I do, in as much as I was classed as the mother’s boy, I am my father’s son. It doesn’t mean I am destined to follow in his footsteps in all he did, it does mean that his imprint on earth can still be seen even though he is not in the same country as me anymore. That’s because in essence he is where I am coming from.
Before I followed Jesus, my Dad was there. Even in the early stages of following Jesus, the standard was set by my Dad in how he conducted himself in taking his study seriously and his responsibilities in a similar manner. As a result, one of the key things my Dad pointed towards was how I would discover more of my identity by acknowledging God as the source – the one who called me and thus defines who I am.
Unsurprisingly, my Dad plays a huge part in who I am. Anything I achieve in life will see him getting the credit he deserves. He never sought to be the kind of Dad to put pressure on me to fulfil his desires. He was far more interested in seeing his children grow and develop into upstanding human beings seeking God and following His will for our lives. That distinct lack of exerting pressure was right for me. It encouraged me to explore that for myself and then pursue it as much for my own reasons as to just please Dad. Yet pleasing Dad is important to me, in being a man of good character.
Though I stumble and fall from time to time, I am grateful that when I look back at where I am coming from, there’s a good source that helps me back on track.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden