I Am Becoming Death and Life
2 Corinthians 3:18 We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
When I first started at my gym, I found it maddening that so many people could do so much that I could not. It was not just that I was weaker than the guy half my size, it was that I could not even perform the same exercise, at any weight. I wanted to be able to do everything and it frustrated me that I did not get it all at once. I knew that it took years of hard work get some things. I did not want to wait years. I wanted it now.
Likewise, when I went to treatment, I saw those with a few years of clean time and I desperately wanted what they had. I did not want to wait day by agonizing day in the misery of putting my life back together. I did not want to go to meetings, read and pray every day or work at it. I just wanted to fast forward past the mountain of effort and misery to come out sunny on the other side. I wanted my marriage and career to be magically put back together without going through the hard work of making it right. Patience, is not one of my gifts.
It has taken me some time then, to accept the idea that life is a process and that I will never arrive at perfection while in this life. It is not that I really expect to be perfect. I just thought that I would eventually get to the point where I had arrived and would not have much need for change. The reality is, as long as I am in this flesh, I am going to be under the influence of its defects. I do not however, need to remain enslaved to them.
The normal life of a disciple involves a gradual transformation from one degree to another in the school of Christ. I am never static. I am always in the process of becoming today that which I will be tomorrow. I will either travel one day farther down the road of self, or I will, as Jesus commanded, deny self and follow him.
If, as Paul said, I keep my gaze focused on God, I will gradually become more and more like the person God wants me to be. In this process, I am at once, dying to the old flesh life and becoming more alive to God’s spirit life in me. When I follow Christ, I am becoming both death and life.
If I am tired of my destructive ways, then I must do whatever it takes to turn from self to God. So often, I think I want God but I just do not want him badly enough to change anything, so, I try to pursue God and me. Then, I wonder why He feels so distant. If I cannot see God today, I have only yesterday’s pursuits to blame. I may not be responsible for the defects I have, but only I am responsible for the choices I make.
I must remember though, that this is not an instantaneous process. It takes a lifetime and I only improve one day’s growth in one day’s time. It took me 1,095 individual days to get three years clean time. As for the gym? I still have a long way to go.