For many years growing up, I used to dread the inevitable, “Where you from?” question that came with introductions to new people. As a military “brat”, we moved around a lot. I had lived in three states and in three different countries before I ever hit first grade. While being exposed to different cultures and ethnic groups has forever shaped who I am today, in the early years I was left with somewhat of an identity crisis. These days, for the first time in my life, I have a solid handle on that dreaded “Where you from?” question.
One of the reasons I really struggled with the question earlier in my life stemmed from the fact that I didn’t really identify with any area or group of people. Today it’s the same, but I now understand the reason why. I am a follower of Christ, I belong to Him. I identify with Jesus. Spending time with Him is when I feel most at peace, when I feel at home.
Lately I can’t turn on the television or radio, much less pick up a newspaper, without being bombarded with the latest political argument of what it means to be an American. I hear arguments from both Christian and non-Christian friends, both trying to win me over to their point of view. I feel wonderfully disconnected, if not somewhat frustrated, from all the fuss. You see, I’m not from America. Sure, my birth certificate will tell you I was born on United States territory, but that is simply geography. I am extremely thankful to have been born in a country that has allowed me to express my opinion freely, and a country that has let me pursue a way of life of my own choosing. But make no mistake, I pledge my allegiance to the Creator God and to His Son who sacrificed His life for me. I do not pledge allegiance to a colorful rag, but rather to the blood stained robes of my Lord and Savior. I do not love any particular area of dirt, but will bow on any piece of land before my God.
If you ask me where I’m from, I will proudly and unashamedly tell you that I am part of the Kingdom of God. This is where I place my allegiance. How about you? Where are you from? With whom do you identify? The Bible makes it clear that we cannot serve two masters. We can’t serve “God and country”, because our country will most assuredly come into conflict with God. Whom then will you choose? Do you boast in your country of origin or in your true place of origin? God created you with specific talents and abilities, intended for use according to His purpose. All that we have and all that we are originated with God. We are from Him, not any plot of soil. Do you show God the same allegiance you do to your country? If not, it’s time to choose this day whom you will serve.