Shifting Identities

Years ago I learned about the phrase "going native.". Originally, it was used to describe the process by which Cold War spies shifted their allegiances from their country of origin to the country in which they were embedded.

It was the power of relationships that made the difference. The daily interactions with neighbors, community activities and whatever job was their "cover." As the daily interests and concerns became less exotic and more routine, normal became the present context. The former context of home and origins became almost mythic. Real and normal were the daily chores and joys. Over time, the present, the real, and the normal overwhelm us all, and we go native.

I have lived in Idaho a minority of my life. I have been a teacher in one capacity or another for a few years. Professionally, I feel less an ordained minister than I do a Professor of General Studies. I found this weekend, I described myself more as a professor than as a pastor. To a certain degree I find that role switch uncomfortable.

While I live and act in a particular context, I feel inclined to wonder about who I am. Am I going native, or, is my citizenship (Phil 3:20) elsewhere?

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