What you were may not be who you are, and what you are now may not be what you will become…

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WHAT I ONCE WAS

An old friend sent me an e-mail with an equally old picture of me in it. After recovering from the initial shock of seeing myself so young and handsome compared to my present condition, I began to reflect on what I was like as a person in those days.

I often lament over just how stupid, crass and short-sighted I was in my teens. It seems I had no power of logic or reason when it came to how I was living or what direction I should go in the future. I made a whole series of calamitous decisions and choices. I neglected the people who were most valuable and dear to me. I was involved with people I should have stayed a million miles away from. I had no control over my own appearance or my image. I was lazy and slothful. I was immoral and unprincipled in my lifestyle, and I had no meaningful or cohesive set of beliefs.

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WHAT I BECAME

I’ve turned the telescope of time around many times. That is, I’ve imagined what I would have thought at the age of sixteen, if I had met my future self-the “me” I am now.

I would have been horrified to see how much I would change in all the wrong ways.  I would never have wanted to become so logical, reasonable or consistent.  All the things I wanted to be I have not become. Almost all the people who were valuable and dear to me are not around me anymore, for one reason or another.  I have no crazy and interesting friends to color my life. I would recoil at my future appearance and image, I would be shocked by my frenzied, principled and moral lifestyle, and I would be frightened by my rigid and committed set of beliefs.

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WHAT I WILL BECOME

Having become a Christian since those long-gone days, I’ve come to understand that my God is, and in fact always was, working to change me for the better. My appearance, my image, my failures, my petty “accomplishments” diminish in significance with every passing day. What matters in increasing measure is my walk, my way of life, and most importantly my relationship with the Shepherd of my soul.

My entire life is a process of change: all I need to do is be willing to change. My willingness to change saves the pain of being changed the hard way by a God who loves me too much to leave me in my past or my current state. But more than that, the ultimate moment of change, that “twinkling of an eye” moment, is getting ever nearer. In that sublime moment, because I’ve given my life and my soul to Jesus Christ, I will be changed forever. I will be changed from glory into glory. I will finally be the me that God always wanted me to be:

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us… ”Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is…” (1 John 3:1-3 NIV).

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