It’s certainly not always easy to change and grow but it really isn’t for the most part, impossible.
When I was young I thought I could do anything.
As I aged I realized I could do some things, not others.
As I age further I realize it’s not important or always necessary to change in some areas while in others the changes bring me life beyond my wildest dreams.
Why the hot sauce bottles above? There was a time I would have NEVER thought I’d be able to handle such heat. Now I love and use it nearly every day!
In my final year of high school I’d come to saving faith in Jesus. In a public school of some 1,600 I only knew two people who ever openly stated they were followers of His. One of them seemed to have little that confirmed such faith, the other I didn’t know very well- and in that I’m not God -who knows if they were living in and out of a genuine faith not? God alone knows.
As for me, everyone around me knew where I was at rather quickly. Music, drugs, sex, leftist-hippie, anti-war (for the most part) and a deep love for alternative lifestyles, cultures and experiences were who I was and had been most of my later teen years.
I still relate to some of these but very differently, and over a 9 month period many things began to change- for the better.
Most of the addictions fell away. Suicide was no longer an option I wanted. Blatant distrust for people who didn’t see things my way was less of a threat and I began to pray for people asking God to give them the same grace I had found in Him.
I got a “real” job and was eventually offered a promotion as manager… which I declined as I realized I had a call on my life to live “outside the box” to share love and music with people who often saw Christians as anti-everything, racist and just idiots -which we sometimes have been and perhaps are. Which is why I’m still outside the box and loving my God and His calling all these years later.
In the process, there is (as I wrote years ago in a Rez Band song called “The Struggle”) “still a whole lot of old wineskin”. That’s a reference to “the old Glenn”, the self-centered, “pleasure and MY WILL above ALL else” life I had lived B.C..
When I’d read “now you are dead and your life is hidden with Christ in God” I got it. It’s a different “dead” Paul is talking about there. I HAD BEEN spiritually dead and empty for those first 18 years.
Most of my life on earth has since passed and I STILL am not fully “dead to self”. But OHHHH what a DIFFERENCE from who I was back then. What a deep, profound journey and what an amazing grace (yes) I’ve experienced.
Very few of my B.C. running buddies are left. A few follow Jesus. Several are dead. For others, the pain of most of their lives is largely worse than when we were teens -and in fantasy: thought we’d be together “forever”.
Life after “Glenn” is what it could have been much earlier for me, but I can’t thank God enough for His compassion and the healthy changes He’s made, the callings on my life and the apparent fruit He’s borne along the way.
When you finally surrender: “lose your life for My sake and the sake of the Good News”, you’ll find it. Not until, not before, not ever.
Not until, not before, not ever.
One translation renders it this way: “For Christ IS our Life”.
Everything else is passing.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn