Sunday, June 24, 2012

A place at the table

Just bought a new table on ebay, in preparation for our return, it got me thinking about the phrase "a place at the table". Do you ever get that sense that you just don't belong? Somehow you don't deserve to be where you are or a niggle at the back of your mind "One day I will be found out!"

You're an impostor, you don't deserve a place at the table!

This can be do with where you came from: for me coming from N.Ireland lends one sort of tension, am I Irish or am I British? Which one of those tables should I sit at? or can I sit at both? Then I have: am I N.Irish or English? I was born in N.Ireland and grew up in England from the age of 9 so I sound English to the Irish and a little strange to the English, I have a schizophrenic accent! If I am honest I am not sure it matters, although I am definitely Irish. I love what Paul says on this subject "But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives" 

Another interesting factor can be what you have done: I used to be frightened of what people would think about some of the things I have done in my past. The prison, the fights, the selfishness, the drugs but the thing about the past is that it has passed! God is more interested in who you are becoming than who you have been.

There is also the consideration of what you have: I am not qualified academically, this used to play on my mind, but it hasn't held me back. We can get so focussed on what we don't have that we can lose sight of what we do have. "In all things give thanks" thankfulness brings perspective to lack!

For me problems around identity and feeling worthy to sit at the table have been to do with disconnectedness, shame, and lack!

This Psalm should help anyone struggling with this:

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, 
    he refreshes my soul. 
He guides me along the right paths 
    for his name’s sake. 
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a] 
I will fear no evil, 
    for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; 
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Hi Brian,

You make some good points and I completely relate. I moved from NI to England at 18 and have lived here 10 years. Worldy Identity is confusing enough if you are a Christian, add in the Northern Irish background and a life in London and it becomes even more confusing!