Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Business of "Becoming"

Becoming who we are supposed to be ought to be easier it seems. Maybe it would have been if I had started earlier. But, for whatever reason, that’s not the plan. Besides, I wouldn’t be who I am without all of those years of “experience”. Most of the time, I believe that. Some days I think it’s just what we tell ourselves so that we can deal with all of the wasted time.

Either way, I had a wonderful revelation last week and I thought it was worthy of sharing in case someone else was in the “are we there yet?” mode of personal development. At our leadership conference at church last week we had the opportunity to hear from our pastor’s father. He’s a wonderful pastor himself. Dr Young is quite different from his son, but they are both master communicators. He spoke on our need to get focused on “becoming” instead of so much doing. In other words, once we become who we are supposed to be, the “doing” will take care of itself as the fruit that bears witness to the work God has done in our lives. I had never thought about this in exactly this way.

The example that he used to explain is one I love to examine. He used Paul. I love Paul’s story. He’s one of my very favorite characters of the Bible. How could you not love Paul’s story? Most of us love a good redemption story, and there is none better than Paul’s. Here’s a guy who actually persecuted/murdered Christians until the day that he was on his way to Damascus and Jesus appeared to him. He was blinded for 3 days, regained his sight, converted in a BIG way, and then eventually went on to write over half of the New Testament. Even Hollywood couldn’t think up a redemption story like that!

But, it wasn’t those events of his life that were news to me. The “a-ha” moment came in what isn’t included in the story that I’ve known for years. You see, apparently Paul failed miserably in converting other people immediately following his conversion. He was on fire, but very ineffective. Somehow I missed that part of the story. Turns out that somewhere between 13 and 18 years passed before that changed. That’s a lot of years!!

So, there were all of those years of preparation and development before he was ready to be used in the most incredible way. Even Paul had to “become” before he could do what he was created to do. Now, I have no misconception that my plan is a fraction of the plan that God had for Paul. I mean he brought the Gospel to the western world for goodness sakes. But the truth is that I don’t know what it is yet. I’m still in preparation mode.

My pastor says regularly that whatever we are going through, God is preparing us for what he has already prepared for us. Isn’t that cool? I’m like a child waiting for Christmas morning knowing the gift is so much better than anything I could ever imagine. So now I want to be about the business of “becoming” so that I can find out exactly what that is. I don’t know where it will take me or who I will encounter along the way, but I do know that I will be pleasantly surprised. I always am.



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