It's been really interesting to stop and think about this, to step back, to step away from myself and look at where I find my identity--where people as a whole find their identities, for that matter. It's intriguing, it's funny and a little scary at times, too.
As a class, we've looked into art and music and historical contexts and religion and philosophies to note all of the ways in which human beings are influenced and then how they affect culture in return. My eyes have definitely been opened to things I've never really studied before: different eras of art and music, philosophical periods, French thinkers and writers and leaders who have had much more impact on my culture than I ever realized. At the same time, my eyes have been opened to all of the ways in which humans have tried to find their identities in everything but the ultimate source of who we are, God. It's sad and hard to understand, until I realize that I do the same thing on a daily basis. I may not have developed a philosophy on our existence that is separate from the Creator Himself, but I allow myself to find my identity in other things when I allow the desires of beauty or success or popularity to shape who I am.
And as I've been studying the cultural context of human identity, I've been looking at myself a lot. Who am I? Whose am I? Why am I the way that I am, and how can I be different? How can I change the things about myself that have stemmed from an identity in something other than Jesus?
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
A lot to think about...so while I'm exploring Paris and seeing so many incredible/beautiful/romantic things, I'm also thinking. A lot. I'm learning not only about this city but about myself. It's inspiring, it's exciting, and it's taking my mind to places it's never been.
Until next time...just a few snapshots of the culture I get to be a part of here: