The air is ripe for reinvention
My sister Star recently took a trip to California to visit her college town and achieve a personal dream of running on the Golden Gate Bridge. As she was packing, I asked her, "Which Star are you packing for California?"
In the decade since college, Star's been punk, preppy, artsy and magical. Occasionally she uses vacation as a chance to try out a different persona.
It is a rare but exciting moment when we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. Many people look forward to college because they will no longer be known as "the girl who fell off the lunch table and broke her knee."
In college, you can become someone new. Likewise, on the first day at a new job, we choose our tie with exceptional care to show who we want to be.
Beyond opportunities, life circumstances can also force us to reinvent ourselves. One can become a father or a widow, and this new part of us needs to become part of who we are, or we risk an identity crisis.
In the Bible, people are given chances to reinvent themselves, while others are forced to do so.
Paul, once Saul, shifts overnight from being a persecutor of Christians to a proselytizer of Christ. Joseph, sold into slavery, becomes an overseer of much of Egypt's production. A woman caught in adultery becomes a model of forgiveness and faithfulness.
Each of these people found enormous strength in God as they worked through these changes. Through these changes, they became more and more the people that God wanted them to be.
School supplies are filling shopping carts and teenagers will soon agonize over the best jeans to mark the new school year. The air is ripe for reinvention, but not just for the kids.
Is there something about yourself you would like to change? A habit you'd like to break? A new way of thinking you would like to adopt?
Is your change going to make you into more of the person God desires you to be?
If so, God will help you. Imagine what it was like for Saul to try to explain to those who knew his reputation that he had changed. He could not have done that alone. He needed God, and God was there.
God will be there the first time you turn down a glass of wine at a family event. God will be there when you volunteer for the first time at the Dorothy Day House. God will be there as you struggle to keep yourself focused on writing a term paper when every cell in your body wants to go and shoot hoops.
God will be there as you become the person God calls you to be.