I was recently invited to my high school reunion. That is something frightful for me. As others would love to go back in time to their teenage years, I would soon forget a lot of mine. So when I have an old friend reach out to me, telling me I am listed as "Unknown", I am thinking to myself, this a pretty good thing.
See, my thoughts on this was that I don't want to go back to that part of my life or those who were in my life at time. I thought to myself, "What would I say to these people now?" These are people, most of whom I do not even remember(there are reasons for that memory loss, of which I am saying I do not want to return to that life style).
For me to look back on that time in my life hurts. It is like I don't even remember that person I once was. And as God has changed me that is a good thing. But the problem with my thinking is, how are others going to know of my change and how it happened unless I show them? Those of the past remember me the way I was. I was the life of the party. Now, my party life has changed. No more parties to bring me down, but I now have a party of joy living in my heart daily.
As a follower of Jesus, as one who lives for Him, and loves Him, is it not for me to show others the way to Him? How else can I do that except through my life? Now, do not get me wrong. I don't mean to say walk into the room in a hot dress, full of pride, saying, "Hey guys, look at me now." I am speaking of being humble, being myself, and not showing me at all, but Jesus. Showing He is the reason for my change. He has brought me from the old to the new.
Now, I did not accept this invitation, but now after thinking, I know I should have. I should have embraced these old school mates with love. I should have shown them what God has done in my life through the years. For them to look at me and see the changes would have brought glory to God, but I passed on this day. I have now learned what God is trying to show me. He doesn't just want me to be a light right here in my home, to those in my community, but to be a light to all I know and knew, old and new. It is often those very people that knew us before Christ came into our lives that could come to know Him through seeing Him and the changes He made in our lives.
I am never going to make an impact for Jesus if I am not willing to go and put myself out there for Him. That is what His disciples did. They lost their lives to follow Christ. They gave all to follow Him, to walk with Him, to share with Him and to grow with Him. So I have to ask myself, "Am I really willing to give all?" In my heart I say yes, but that yes is harder that just saying the word. Those disciples who followed Jesus showed others who He was, and they also showed Him through their lives, and what they were willing to do for their Savior.
Now, I think my fears got the best of me. I don't think it was so much of me not wanting to be part of that life again, not even for one night, but it was more of my fears of facing my past, of who I was. I don't want to think of myself as how I lived in my past. I want to see the present and the future I have with Christ, but in order for to get here with Christ I have to be willing to look back and see who I was and what He has done. It is when I can do so that I can see His glory. I can see where He has brought me from and where He is taking me.
I have nothing to fear with Him at my side. I should have been willing. I should have been that vessel for Him, but instead of thinking of Him, I had thoughts of me. And its those thoughts of "Me" that can hold us back from showing others "Him".
1 Thessalonians 5:19 "Do not quench the Spirit."
Ephesians 4:22-25 "That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another."
I should be willing to show others that in my imperfect life there is One who is greater that my past, my present or anything in my life. I should be willing to others that in my life, in my joys and my struggles there is One who sees me through each one. I need to show others the joy that God has placed in my heart. When I chose to step back, the only One who shines is Jesus, and isn't that what we are to do?