Keep the End in MindJournal Entry: March 26, 2009

Becoming the person God created me to be is hard work. I am ready to give up and just go with the flow. I am tired. If I had to describe how I felt about my life right now tired is the word I would use.

This tiredness isn’t about physical activity, but it is about the spirit. I am spiritual weary due to looking at my heart and the futility of trying to make changes. It is the weariness that comes with the realization that I am so very far away from the destination: the man that God created me to be.

When one is weary how does he summon up the courage, strength, and desire to change?

I don’t know the answer to that question. I do know that God has been asking me to consider the end. At the end of my life what type of man do I want people to say I was? This isn’t about my accomplishments, but it is about my character.

It is my belief that God is more interested in character than He is in talent, and that He is more interested in personal holiness than in individual accomplishments. If that is true, then God will bring into my life all the right opportunities to help me develop into the right person. By responding to these opportunities with faith I allow God to mold me into the man He created me to be.

One of the lesson I learned from the book Caesar against the Celts is that when a person knows what the goal is, then he is in the best position to make the most of the opportunities he is given. Caesar had a goal in mind, he wanted political power, and when circumstances were not what he planned them to be, he was still able to find a way to use those circumstances as an opportunity that would ultimately benefit him. It wasn’t luck that made Caesar, it was his understanding of who he wanted to be, and thus making the most of whatever opportunity he faced to move one step closer to the dream of being emperor.

I think the same is true for a Christian. When a Christian understands the type of person God wants them to be, what type of character they should have, then he/she is able to recognize the choices they are to make, regardless circumstances that they might face.

If I want to be a person of integrity, then I have to realize that the lost wallet I find on the sidewalk is an opportunity to display (and thus build) that integrity or an opportunity to ignore (and thus destroy) that same integrity.

I think part of the reason that I am weary is because I think all this work has to be done this instant. I am so far from the person I want to be and it feels like I haven’t made very much progress through the years. How can I hope to bring real change to my life by tomorrow or next week? It seems impossible.

My hope is that if I keep the end in mind, then I will be reminded that true change happens slowly, a step at a time, and with each step I get closer and closer to becoming that person God created me to be. This progress, no matter how slow it might be, is an act of faith, and thus something that brings a smile to God’s face. The daily choice to do the right thing slowly helps me to become a person fit for God’s New Creation.

At the end of my time on earth I want people to say:
“Paul was a man of courage. He did not back down from confronting the evil that was around him. He was a man of integrity. If he told you he would do something you could consider it done. Paul constantly and continually taught truth. He believed the Bible is God’s Word and it was the foundation for his teachings and his life. Most importantly Paul was a man of faith. When I think of a person of faith he is one of the many people who come to mind.”

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