Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and save my past self from himself. I wish I could give him more wisdom or keep him from making some really poor decisions. Sometimes I want to go back and comfort my past self and tell him that his worries were pointless. Sometimes I also want to be able to erase the past and just be known as the guy that I am now.
Over the past year or so I have had the ability to reconnect with a number of people from my high school and college years. Some of this has been through social media, but I have also had the fortune of spending time face to face with people who I spent a significant amount of time with during my formative years. I love rehashing old stories and discovering what their lives look like now. What is funny is that I am always surprised when they are so different from what I remember of them many years ago. I guess we tend to just freeze our impression of people. This tendency, however, also brings me some unease.
I would like to think that I am very different from the person that I was ten or even five years ago. I am sure that I have some of the same mannerisms or even some of the same interests, but I often want to think that I have grown into someone who is much more confident, more competent, and more social. I think that God has allowed me to grow and mature into someone much different than the awkward teenager that I once was.
We often hear that people cannot change, but I am not so sure that this statement can be valid in light of who God is and what God can do in or lives. The very essence of the gospel is that we become new creations who are given a new purpose, new gifts, and a new hope. God has brought me along in so many ways, and I would be stealing His glory to think that I did all of this on my own. When I excel or when I see growth in areas of my life, I know that God has brought about the change on my behalf for His purpose. I am also reminded that, while I would love to erase my past, God has used it to help me become the person He intended for me to become.