Sunday, October 26, 2008

Things Change

This past week I decided to clean up the template of my blog archives, and while doing that I took a little trip down Bloggy Memory Lane. I clicked on the archives for 2004 and began reading. It seemed odd to me how on the one hand those things that I wrote in 2004 don't really seem that long ago, but on the other hand feel like a million lifetimes ago. I read the recap of 2004 that I wrote at the end of December and what made the headlines that year. I read what I'd written about my late step-dad who's health was failing him, and that brought tears to my eyes. I read about our trip to Kentucky and it made me smile. I read about how excited I was about the first snow that fall and suddenly heard the sound of screeching brakes you might hear in a car chase in a movie. What!? Me, excited about snow??? Surely I must have been insane.

It's funny how your perspective on a thing can change in such a short period of time. Just four years ago (probably even as recent as just last year, but I don't dare look to confirm) I was excited about the first snowfall of the year. This year? I'm so dreading it that I jokingly scolded Rachel yesterday for daring to say the "S" word.

When you're a kid, if you're like most kids, you look forward to the first snowfall of the year. Especially if you live somewhere that you don't get a lot of snow in the winter time. You don't have to go out into it unless you want to, and if you're like most kids you really really want to! Even if you do have to go out in the snow to walk to school, you look forward to it because it's SNOW! and that's a lot of fun, even if you're freezing. Kids just have this incredible resolve to have fun no matter if they can feel their feet and hands anymore, or not. Things are a little different for adults. I vividly recall my grandparents and my mom lamenting the snow. They always hoped it wouldn't be too deep, or too wet, or stick around for too long. They had to drive in it, and they had to shovel it, where us kids just got to play in it, eat it, throw it at each other and enjoy it. Different perspective, vastly different attitude about it.

I can think of lots of other things this applies to as well. Namely, living the Christian life.

When you're a newly minted believer, you see things in a different way than you did even the very day before you were converted. Five, ten, twenty years later you continue to see things differently. Your views on such things as eschatology & soteriology may change a great deal as you grow in grace and study the word. Your understanding and your perspective on a great number of things changes considerably the older you get. Your views on legalism, relationships, suffering, bitterness, grace, compassion and judgementalism (and more) will change and hopefully with life experience and under the right teaching, you'll come to understand these things in the right balance, and with the right perspective.

If there is anything I've learned in my Christian life, it's finding that right balance, that consistant and grace-infused perspective on life and all that comes with it, can be somewhat elusive. It takes work, and it takes focus and it takes prayer, and it often takes the Lord removing things from your life that you didn't exactly want removed, to show you the things you need to see. It also takes a desire on your part to really want these things. It's very easy (for me anyway) to become lazy and apathetic about a lot of things, including spiritual things. It's much harder a lot of the time to stay diligent and stay focused on the right things and the proper things.

Interesting how perspective changes attitude, and how time changes perspective.



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