At a crime scene, the police check for fingerprints because they know that fingerprints reveal a person’s identity.
Do you know that I spent years searching for my identity? But, no matter where I looked, it was nowhere to be found.
When I was 13, I tried to find my identity by being a punk rocker. If you’d have been on the scene in Salford when I was a punk, you’d have seen me. I had spiky hair, pins in my ripped shirt, and wore PVC pants. I used to go to Snoopy’s Youth Club. Looking angry, doing the pogo to the Sex Pistols—it was fun, but I didn’t find my identity.
When I left school, I tried to find my identity by becoming one of the boys in Manchester—going to all the clubs in town, wearing designer clothes, walking with my feet at ten-to-two, like proper Macs do. Being one of the boys was a good, but I still didn’t find my identity.
I started to take drugs, thinking that I might find my identity there. But, as you can imagine, that didn't happen. Instead, I found myself hearing voices for nine years. Doctors call it 'amphetamine psychosis'.
I tried to find my identity by getting into house music. There was a period when I would spend all day practising DJing on my Technics 1200 turntables, whizzing off my head, on speed. I’d practise and practise and practise some more. I'd record a mixtape and take it to work. I worked nights as a private hire taxi in Salford. I would play that mixtape constantly. I was known as the raving taxi driver. If you’d have booked a taxi on a Saturday night, you’ve have seen it. I'd turn up at your door with my windows down and the music blaring with my head bobbing up and down. I looked like a hyperactive nodding dog on speed, with a face like a whippet. As soon as you got in, I’d play you my latest mix, repeating the best bits, at least 18 times: 'Listen to this now’, ‘Listen to that baseline’, ‘Listen to this sample’. It was madness, and my identity was still nowhere to be found.
You see, I was trying to find my identity in the wrong places.
Every year I speak at Forest Bank prison. To get in, you put your finger on a fingerprinting scanner at the gate. One time, I put my finger on it, and up on the screen came ‘Identity not found’. This was me. No matter where I looked on my life’s journey, I couldn't find my identity.
Fingerprints reveal a person’s identity. And I spent years searching for mine.
And then something unexpected happened. After the night my flat became a crime scene, I moved from central Manchester to the outskirts. I met three people in a 10-day period who were all Christians. One of them invited me to church, so I went. That day, I was prayed for and had a religious experience. Within a matter of days, it became clear to me that I had finally found my identity.
God revealed my identity. Now, my identity is found in Him!! The Bible says that: ‘I’m a child of God’; I’m in Christ’; ‘I’m a member of God’s family’ and ‘I’m His special possession.’
I still like to wear designer clothes, but my identity isn’t found in them. It’s found in God! I don't need to be one of the Manchester boys anymore because I'm one of God’s boys now!!
What about you? Have you been searching for your identity? Have you been trying to find it in all the wrong places? That search can stop. Fingerprints reveal your identity. And God can reveal yours to you!