Growing and Changing
I am on my way to a conference. I love conferences. So much to learn. So many people to meet. This should be a good one. It is really two conferences in one. One of them is primarily about church health. The other is primarily about how to keep the high school and college generation that tends to leave the church. One of the speakers is Mark Dever of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Another speaker is Thom Rainer, President of Lifeway Christian Resources. The other speakers are leaders in local churches who are applying the principles they are speaking on. The topics and speakers are why I ultimately decided to attend.
Why was it so hard to decide? The event is the annual Spring Bible Conference at the first college I went to. It is also my denomination’s flagship Bible college. The problem is that I was not a very good student. I stayed in a certain amount of what I saw as minor trouble and as a result, dropped out of school. I am not blaming them, but most of my memories of the place are not pleasant. But that was almost twenty years ago and a lot has changed, especially me.
I am not the same person I was all those years ago. My respect for the authority of the leadership has changed. My appreciation for the value of the education I could have gotten there has changed. Don’t misunderstand me. I would change very little about my life now. If I had been a better student and a better person then, I likely would never have met the wonderful woman I am married to or had the awesome sons I have now. I might not have the home I enjoy in the town I love living in.
I went on to finish my bachelors degree at another Christian college and seminary. I am convinced I am exactly where God wants me to be. I am confident He has me on a path that leads to becoming more like Jesus.
I will likely see people I knew in those bygone years. I hope they will recognize me as the man God is making me to be now, not the person I was then.
How is God changing you to be more like Jesus? If you spent some time with people who knew you twenty years ago, would they see a difference between then and now?